Between good and civic action: saving heritage buildings in Bucharest

I have started my present inquiry with the umbrella research question: how do people turn values into action? I further specify it through my ethnographic inquiry which covers the articulation of values through action in both the secular and religious spheres. I discuss three cases of saving heritage buildings in Bucharest, churches and one market hall, covering two distinct temporalities: socialist (1980s) and postsocialist (2000s). Applying concepts from the anthropology of morality, I show how moral conceptualizations of “legality”, “heritage” and “civil society” are specified both in the private sphere of the ethical and in the public sphere of claim making, how they change under the contingencies of history, across temporalities, discourses and practices feeding into each other. The resulting picture is of co-existing ethical repertoires that do not only compete but can also complement each other.