New Handbook Sheds Light on Europe’s Religious Heritage and Contemporary Challenges

The handbook examines Europe's evolving religious heritage. It discusses challenges in managing historic religious sites, their role in political discourse, and influences on societal inclusion.

A newly released open-access handbook provides an in-depth look at the evolving landscape of religious heritage in contemporary Europe, addressing public debates, scholarly perspectives, and policy considerations. The volume, available on under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence, gathers insights from scholars, policy makers, and heritage practitioners.

The handbook delves into the multifaceted challenges faced by organizations, churches, and government bodies managing religious heritage sites. It includes a range of articles that feature polemics, case studies, and thorough analysis, all unified under major themes such as Jewish, Muslim, and Christian heritage, the concept of the (post)secular, interreligious heritage, and the impact of sacred texts, museums, tourism, and contemporary art on these ancient sites.

Europe’s historic religious sites
A significant focus of the handbook is the changing role of Europe’s historic religious sites, including churches, synagogues, and mosques. These sites are increasingly grappling with a decline in worshippers, a surge in tourist numbers, and the consequent pressure to repurpose these historic spaces while maintaining their cultural and religious integrity.

The book also critically examines the role of religious heritage in political discourse, particularly how it influences the inclusion and exclusion of religious minorities in the societal fabric. This exploration provides insight into the complex relationship between politics, religion, and heritage in Europe, highlighting the ongoing debates and policy decisions shaping the future of these historic sites.

This comprehensive guide serves as a state-of-the-art resource for understanding the dynamic interplay between religion and heritage in Europe. Its open-access availability ensures that it can reach a wide audience, fostering greater awareness and discussion among scholars, policy makers, heritage practitioners, and the general public.

For more information and to access the handbook, visit

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