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

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2009
Issue number2
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)154-160
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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.