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Spaces of faith: incorporating emotion and spirituality in geographic studies


  • Caitlin Cihak Finlayson


Religious experience is highly personal and is often comprised of affectual encounters and emotional responses, both within personal space and through ordained sacred spaces. Expanding on recent geographical research, with the aid of semistructured interviews, this paper explores how personal affect and emotion are experienced by members from two houses of worship. The responses highlight the transformative nature of sacred space and its unique capacity to elicit emotional experiences from participants. Further, this study demonstrates that there is a commonality to spiritual experiences, such as a feeling of peace or a sense of being ‘home’, that cuts across denominational lines, and that these experiences are often spatially grounded. Keywords: emotional geography, affectual geography, geography of religion, nonrepresentational theory, affect, spirituality

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  • Caitlin Cihak Finlayson, 2012. "Spaces of faith: incorporating emotion and spirituality in geographic studies," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(7), pages 1763-1778, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:7:p:1763-1778

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