Planning as Cultural-Religious Practice Home and Abroad

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Learning Outcomes

  • Understand planning as a cultural-religious practice and where such an approach is suggested.
  • Acquire practical tools to recognize and be receptive to religious and cultural expressions.
  • Learn about the seven dimensions of planning as a cultural-religious practice and its usefulness in secular planning processes.

More Course Details

In the previous century, secularism dominated local and regional planning. However, nonsecular institutions and faith communities frequently took on tasks similar to those of professional planners such as community development, advocacy, and infrastructure improvements. Nonsecular institutions extend charity and hold immense social capital in their communities. Faith and religion are agents of social action. Faith communities may function beyond local and regional administrative boundaries and define their platforms for social action on their terms. Faith- and religion-based activities may vary by culture, collective history, ethnic identity, and territorial (land) attachment.

In government affairs, church and state are separated. In practice, the separation is unclear and sometimes agitates communities. Planners frequently stand between the official, secular state and vested, informal, nonsecular stakeholders. They have the difficult task of mitigating outcomes between competing parties while remaining sensitive and respectful of cultural and religious diversity.

Presenters explain how to recognize nonsecular planning processes and work with cultural and religious narratives. They introduce planning as a cultural-religious practice with seven dimensions of practical application and adaptation in secular planning processes. Learn a "language" with important cultural and religious elements to apply and expand in your community.