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Religion and Senses of Place1479
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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. Religiously important places - even the more austere ones - 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 senses 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 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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Graham Harvey is Professor of Religious Studies at the Open University, UK. 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.
Series Foreword Graham Harvey Groundwork: Setting the Scenes Graham Harvey and Opinderjit Kaur Takhar Section One: Religions of South Asian origin 1. Clouds Drifting Through a Landscape: Glimpses of Rishikesh Stephen Jacobs, University of Wolverhampton 2. Ji Aya Nu: Gurdwaras as Refuge and Target in the Islamophobic World Order Tavleen Kaur, University of Wolverhampton 3. The role of place in shaping the practice and meaning of seva among Jain ascetics in Gujarat, India Bindi Shah, University of Southampton, and N. Rajaram, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, and The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda 4. Aughars and their Sense of 'Place' Jishnu Shankar, Columbia University 5. Sense, Place and the Goddess: Devotion to Kali in cross-cultural perspective Nicole Petersen, Lesley University 6. The Spirit of Place: Encounters with the Bauls and Fakirs of West Bengal Denise Doyle, University of Wolverhampton, and Tara Baoth Mooney, Independent Scholar Section Two: Religions of Indigenous Origin 7. Landscapes of Enchantment and their Usage: A Critical Case-Study from the Khasi Ethnic Community, Northeast India Margaret Lyngdoh, University of Tartu 8. Indigenous American Quadripartitioned Sense of Place Miguel Astor-Aguilera, Arizona State University 9. A Tuna in Every Puna: Photofilmic Practices and Tribal Desires for Environmental Reinvigoration of Freshwater Springs Natalie Robertson, AUT University, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland)