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From locality to location and back again: A spatial journey in the study of religion

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2009
JournalReligion
Journal number2
Volume39
Number of pages6
Pages154-160
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In this article, in the context of a retrospective examination of my own research journey from locality to location and back again, I argue for the importance and value of studying religion in local perspective, and reconceptualize ‘locality’ from the perspective of a spatial methodology, in recognition of the critiques made of earlier usage and the demands placed on the term in the context of globalization. Using the example of an urban high street, I put a spatially-informed approach to the study of religion in locality to work. I suggest that such an approach counterbalances and challenges the once dominant perspective in Religious Studies that focused on World Religions and saw the places in which they occurred as little more than mere context. A locality-based approach seeks to reconnect religion with other social and cultural fields and to recognise the impact of local particularity on the religious life of an area.