Martin Christ presents a working paper on ‚Moving Religion out of the City? Extra-urban Cemeteries in Germany, 1490 – 1880‘

Understood as a space for religious rituals, saturated with religious iconography and meaning and full of biblical symbolism, burial spaces formed a ‘hot spot’ of religion. After focusing on the cemetery as a religious space, this paper will turn to the movement of cemeteries form inside the city to its outside and indicate some of the reasons people living in the early modern period gave for the movement of cemeteries. The next part sketches some European comparisons, focusing, in particular, on the British Isles, which show a different kind of reasoning behind the movement of cemeteries and indicate that religion was only a key factor for the movement of cemeteries, if combined with other causes. Finally, the paper considers one of the key questions regarding the movement of cemeteries, that is, if the move of the burial spaces outside of the city walls led to a more secular city, a view that is still highly influential in the historiography on this topic. By way of conclusion, I offer some questions for further directions of this research.