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Cosmopolitan cities harbor "a complex negotiation" about their distribution among the religions that coexist in them.

Alberto Medina, of Columbia University, cited the New York case at ICS

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27/10/14 17:39 Carlota Cortés

"In cosmopolitan cities, religion is a field of urban and urbanistic combat. There is a complex negotiation about its distribution in almost percentage terms among the religions that coexist in them". This is what Alberto Medina, Adjunct Professor of Columbia University, said at the University of Navarra. Columbia Universityon the occasion of a seminar organized by the project 'Religion and Civil Society' of Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), the center of Humanities and social sciences of the University of Navarra.      

Alberto Medina stated that such negotiation responds to "a dispute over symbolic space: there is a fear of mixtures and interferences and, therefore, the aim is to preserve certain urban plans that are extraordinarily traditional". As an example, he pointed out that in New York "there has been a great controversy over the construction of a mosque in the area surrounding the World Trade Center".

In Spain, he said, there are no problems in this regard because, since there is a majority religion, Catholicism, the urban structure is fairly uniform. 

Dialectics between avant-garde and historicism

In his seminar, graduate 'Back to the Village: European Avant-Garde Architecture and Spanish Spirituality in the 20's', Professor Medina tried to "problematize the conception of what we understand as modern". To do so, he chose Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona pavilion: "sample the dialectic between the avant-garde and historicism, which are supposedly opposites, and how these two positions are actually neutralized". For Alberto Medina, the apparent contradiction between the modern building and the Spanish people "presented as a historicist pastiche" does not exist.

Alberto Medina received his PhD from New York University and specializes in eighteenth-century programs of study , contemporary Spanish literature and cinema, and transatlantic programs of study . He is the author of several books, including Exorcismos de la report: Políticas y poéticas de la melancolía en la España de la Transición, and Espejo de sombras: Sujeto y Multitud en la España del Siglo XVIII.