Religion andmemory: the importance of monuments in preserving historical identity
Kirsch, Jutta Ulrike
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This piece of work describes how negative historical events have influenced history to date through commemoration and remembrance. This study takes a text-based approach to research and uses the grounded theory approach to the topic. This is because the specific procedures for data collection and analysis are flexible and allow a degree of latitude within limits. The thesis approaches the subject of memory and monuments from theological, philosophical and architectural perspectives. First the underlying historical reasons, starting positions and the course of the annihilation of the Armenian Christians and later the extermination of the European Jews are presented. They explain that a change in thinking within the global community had to take place in order to prevent further catastrophes. This change in thinking has led to the development of human rights and the creation of memorial sites and memorials that are part of the cultures of remembrance, as well as a variety of ideas and concepts that can be summarised in the collective term ‘remembrance cultures’. In particular, in Chapters Five to Ten the Tsitsernakaberd memorial sites in Armenia and Yad Vashem in Israel are analysed and juxtaposed. Both are rooted in the tradition of a biblical and theological base category of remembrance and have a sense of identifying character. The focus is on Tsitsernakaberd, as this memorial site is still relatively unknown. This work will show to what extent historical and political cultures of remembrance are compatible with a biblical theological base category and the secular concepts of the theories of memory.
- Theology