Spirituality and religions in European urban spaces

Spirituality and religions in European urban spaces

The course fee for 1-week on-site courses - that includes tuition fee, meals (coffee break and lunch), local transport and the cost of the leisure time programs - is 490 EUR. All applicants are required to pay 90 EUR (out of this 490) as registration fee at registration. The registration fee is non-refundable.

Credits: 4 EC

Our course offers ECTS points, which may be accepted for credit transfer by the participants' home universities. Those who wish to obtain these credits should inquire about the possible transfer at their home institution prior to their enrolment. The International Strategy Office will send a transcript to those who have fulfilled all the necessary course requirements and request one.

Venue: ELTE Faculty of Education and Psychology, Institute of People- Environment Transaction


Please pay the registration fee and fill out this form: https://www.elte.hu/en/spirituality-bsu2024


The programme will provide an opportunity to learn about the theoretical aspects of urban spaces of denominations. Students will learn about the specificities of urban spaces in Budapest, and through this they will gain insights into specific denominational spaces. The course will also introduce them to the use of spaces of different cultures, with a focus on cultural differences related to issues of education and sustainability. The course aims at creating intercultural dialogue, fostering analytical, analytical and humanistic thinking, and promoting interreligious and interdenominational dialogue.

The course will visit several sites in Budapest that are intrinsically linked to the use of space by different religions, and thus provide a comprehensive picture of how the coexistence of religions has shaped the cityscape of Budapest. Particular emphasis will be placed on the postmodern cityscape, in which these spaces are increasingly defined by the issue of sustainability.

Prerequisites for taking the course: No specific requirements

ECT credits: 4 credits

Method of instruction: Participatory workshop activity, interspersed with 90- minute lectures.

Evaluation on basis of:

  • active participation in lessons
  • analytical reflections and discussion questions
  • active participation in the professional discourse of the course




9:30 – 12:00 ELTE Summer University Opening Ceremony

12:30 – 13:30 LUNCH BREAK

13:30 – 15:00 INTRODUCTION SESSION - introduction of the instructors and course syllabus, community-building practices in the context of religions and the use of space

LECTURE - “Initiation rites, according to the five world religions” (Attila Marcelián Dobai). Those awaiting initiation are in a preliminarily state that precedes their acceptance as a full member of the community. The use of sacred spaces is adapted to the levels of initiation, giving competences in the community. The aim of this presentation is to introduce participants to the initiation rites of the five world religions, giving them an insight into the organisation of a diverse and exciting spiritual world. We will also discuss the impact of secularisation on sacred and profane spaces and places in postmodernity.


9:00 – 11:00 LECTURE - “Learning Environments - How do we learn in different religious spaces?” (Álmos Levente Szőcs). We present a complex system of learning environments. We also look at the factors that shape learning and determine the use of our different spaces. Discussing the meaning of the learning environment in relation to the use of urban spaces.

11:00 - 12:00 SEMINAR - “Learning trough spaces” - opportunities for creating multicultural learning spaces

12:00 – 13:00 LUNCH BREAK

13:00 – 15:00 FIELD VISIT - “Religious coexistence in downtown Budapest - christian religions and their spaces.” In this afternoon session, we will explore the spaces used by the Christian community in the narrow downtown of Budapest and discuss the multicultural use of the downtown space.


9:00 – 11:00 LECTURE - “Sustainability and Spirituality” (Attila Marcelián Dobai, Levente Álmos Szőcs). Different social and cultural groups manage their natural resources differently. The impact of spirituality on the use of the environment varies from religion to religion. And this has very interesting manifestations in urban spaces. This lecture will explore this issue, and we using the most ancient images of nature.

11:00 - 12:00 SEMINAR - “Discussions and debates on the question of supremacy in the light of different religions”.  Discussion about the environmental problems that divide society and religious denominations

12:00 – 13:00 LUNCH BREAK

13:00 – 15:00 FIELD VISIT - “Religions all around the Budavár Castle”. Secular locations in one of the most exciting place in Budapest. (We travel to the castle by public transport from Deák Ferenc tér)


9:00 – 12:00 LECTURE AND SEMINAR - “Spirituality in the postmodern urban space” (Attila Marcelián Dobai) The postmodern urban space has undergone significant changes since socialism, and in the West, secularisation is also affecting places of institutional religious practice. The new pseudo-religious and crypto-religious phenomena can be discerned at various nodes in the fabric of society. The lecture and workshop will aim to familiarise participants with the specificities of urban space, and to give them a playful experience of new forms of sacred space.

12:00 - 13:00 - LUNCH BREAK

13:00 – 15:00 FIELD VISIT - “Krishna locations in Budapest”. Budapest's largest krishna religious site, which appears as an interesting use of space in the capital city.


9:00 –  12:00 FIELD VISIT - “Jewish quarter in downtown of Budapest”. The Jewish history of Budapest is unique. It is an indispensable part of the discourse related to the use of space by religions.

12:00 – 13:00 LUNCH BREAK

13:00 – 15:00 SEMINAR - Final discussion, questions asked, sharing of experiences


  • ATTILA MARCELIÁN DOBAI PhD, assistant professor   Institute of People–Environment Transaction  Fields:sacred places, space,environmental health,institutions and power in health care.
  • LEVENTE ÁLMOS SZŐCS, teacher assistant, PhD-student, ELTE PPK EKTI, Institute of People–Environment Transaction, Fields: learning environments, environmental education, sustainable learning environments


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