Sacred Places and Profane Spaces: Essays in the Geographics of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Sacred Places and Profane Spaces: Essays in the Geographics of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Sacred Places and Profane Spaces: Essays in the Geographics of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Sacred Places and Profane Spaces: Essays in the Geographics of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Synopsis

This study focuses the lense of geography on religion, employing three broad areas of inquiry, collectively termed "geographics," to encompass distinct, yet interrelated spatial dimensions. Religion-specific geographical sites or phenomenon are examined on both the literal and symbolic levels and on the level of prophetic and apocalyptic imaginings. The nine essays approach Judaism, Christianity, and Islam from each of the three spatial levels, looking at the Garden of Eden, Iranian pilgrimage circuits, Jewish settlements in Palestine, and others.

Excerpt

There is no single method which scholars use to study religions. Some concentrate on textual analysis, while others focus on areas such as theology, worship, or institutional structures. Most studies of religion combine these topics, however, along with many others, and approaches to understanding them bring several methods to bear at the same time. This volume is an excellent example of how religion scholars are constantly alert to new ways of considering materials from interdisciplinary angles of vision. The authors of these essays range from specialists with international reputations to younger writers who have already begun to fulfill the promise others see in them. Their collective contribution presents an attractive synthesis of perspectives drawn from the history of religions, high-lighting the central concept of sacred space. The volume enhances and makes more sophisticated a tradition that traces its origins back to Mircea Eliade.

These essays are arranged to furnish balanced emphasis on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All three versions of “Religions of the Book” receive equal time, and each subdivision contains genuinely interesting topics. Some subjects have long been recognized as centrally important, while others bring new

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