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on 16-Sep-2016 (Fri)

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#ryan
I propose three additional areas in which I foresee potentially strong returns on scholarly investment. First, by taking the recent “spatial turn” seriously and engaging the growing interdisciplinary scholarship about space and place, historians of religion and emotion can move beyond deadlocked debates—and outmoded language—about “sacred space” and “holy place.” The investigation of space and place as it has been broached in re- cent books such as Emotional Geographies and Emotion, Place and Culture would help to alter the current approach, which too often takes space as an empty receptacle that is filled by culture, where “geography often presents us with an emotionally barren terrain, a world devoid of passion, spaces ordered solely by rational principles.” 37 The experience of space and the process of place-making are central elements of how communities develop codes that order emotional life. It is debatable whether the emotional experience of being in the desert at night, as the French historian Ernst Renan argued, defines the origins of mono- theistic religious belief. 38 But the critical consideration
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