Groundwork: Setting the Scenes

Religion and Senses of Place - Graham Harvey

Graham Harvey [+-]
Open University
Graham Harvey is Professor of Religious Studies at the Open University, UK. His research is concerned with the performance and rhetoric of identities among Jews, Pagans and indigenous peoples. He is particularly interested in the ³new animism², embracing relational and material approaches to interactions between humans and the larger than human world. His recent publications include The Handbook of Contemporary Animism (2013) and Food, Sex and Strangers: Understanding Religion as Everyday Life (2013).
Opinderjit Kaur Takhar [+-]
University of Wolverhampton
Opinderjit Kaur Takhar is Associate Professor of Sikh Studies and the Director of the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. The Centre is the first of its kind in the UK. Dr Takhar has written numerous academic publications on the Sikhs, including her research in the Oxford Handbook on Sikh Studies (2014). Her publications and research on the Ravidassia community is recognised worldwide and she has presented her work in Universities across the world. She is an Editorial Board member of the peer reviewed journal Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture and Theory. Takhar is Associate Editor for a Special Issue of the peer reviewed journal Contemporary South Asia. Takhar was awarded a MBE in 2018 for her services to Higher Education and the community in Wolverhampton. She was given the award for ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’ in February 2020 by Asian Today. She was awarded for her contribution to Sikh Studies at the Pride of India Awards, held in the House of Lords London in 2017.

Description

Precisely because religion involves bodily and sensual activities, it happens in places. Indeed, religious locations are among the most vibrant, colourful, dramatic and engaging aspects of many cultures. The attraction of pilgrimage destinations as tourism and heritage locations evidences their power. Religiously important places are richly expressive of all that is important to particular communities – at the same time potentially illustrating all that is objectional to others. Single trees, springs, mountains, rivers or other “found places” are selected as the focal points of some religions’ festivals, ceremonies and narratives. Such activities do not leave such places as they were found but shape them as they continue to shape continuing religious developments. This volume examines sense of place in which people not only perform religious acts in particular places but also understand emplacement / belonging to be key features of their religious practices and identities. Such places include specific local shrines and large territories. Religion and Senses of Place focuses on case studies of religions originating in South Asia and those identifiable as “Indigenous”. A range of phenomena expressive and educative of senses of place are discussed in this volume. They include the presence and presentation of religion in shrines, museums, homes and other places; pilgrimages, diasporas, exiles, dislocations, border crossings, inter-religious performances and other styles of movement; cosmologies; auspicious and inauspicious locations; topophilia and utopianism; and more. The case studies are not intended solely to present “data” (and do not only address scholarship of South Asian and Indigenous originating religions) but include discussion of methods for studying religious senses of place – as well as religions as senses of place. The contributions in the volume come from scholars with expertise in a range of approaches and methods in order to illustrate the breadth of possibilities for studying religious senses of place.

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Citation

Harvey, Graham; Takhar, Opinderjit. Groundwork: Setting the Scenes. Religion and Senses of Place. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Oct 2021. ISBN 9781800500662. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=42580. Date accessed: 15 Apr 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42580. Oct 2021

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