The Location of Religion: A Spatial Analysis

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Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2005 - Religion - 264 pages
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The secularization debate continues to dominate sociological studies of religion. Is it possible to locate religion in western secular society without being drawn into debates about its rise and fall? And, if so, then how can this be done? This book offers a new approach to the study of religion in the West based on a spatial analysis of religious-secular relations. It locates religion within the social, cultural, and physical spaces of the present using a method informed by contemporary spatial theory, particularly the work of Henri Lefebvre. In the first half of the book space and religion are opened up to one another. A spatial methodology is developed, and contemporary religion is reconceived within a field of religious, secular and post-secular religious relations. How various disciplines have contributed to a spatial study of religion is critically considered, and scholars writing on religion and space are shown to be inside rather than outside this field of relations. In the second half of the book the spatial approach is applied to a particular case, that of the left hand. Contemporary representations of this sinister but intimate other are shown to embody a variety of values, traces of different religious traditions, alternative paths to salvation and self-realisation, and shifting positions on the impure, demonic, inauspicious and sacred. Consideration is then given to the future application of this spatial approach to the study of religion.
 

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Contents

Chapter
8
Chapter
11
Chapter 2
22
Religion and Lefebvres Spatial Triad
35
Chapter 3
59
Chapter 4
94
Chapter 5
124
Chapter 6
133
Chapter 9
201
Conclusion
229
Index of Authors
255
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About the author (2005)

Kim Knott is Professor of Religion and Secular Studies at Lancaster University.

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