Infrasecular geographies: Making, unmaking and remaking sacred space

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Debates on the postsecular have been paralleled by a growing body of work on sacred space. Most of this work has generally focused on its ‘making’ and on the ‘unofficially sacred’. Transformations of extant official sites of worship have largely remained out of such debates despite increasing public attention and a burgeoning literature in the humanities. In bringing these processes into geographers’ agendas, this article suggests a shift in focus from postsecular narratives to ‘infrasecular’ geographies, that is, to a spatial paradigm able to capture the complexity and materialities of multi-layered coexistences. Infrasecular geographies are characterized by the contemporaneous co-habitation and competition between multiple forms of belief and non-belief, as well as by hidden layers of collective religious subconsciousness which underpin contemporary Western European societies. Taken collectively, processes of desacralization, desecration and resacralization constitute and express infrasecular geographies. They are tangible manifestations of social and cultural transformations and of transformed attitudes towards sacred space and the sacred itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-71
Number of pages28
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number1
Early online date7 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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