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Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion: experience, emotions, everydayness and embodiment in postsecular society and space

Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion: experience, emotions, everydayness and... Original Article 123 Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion: experience, emoo ti ns, everydayness and embodiment in postsecular society and space Kamila Klingorová* Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Czechia * Corresponding author: kamila.klingorova@natur.cuni.cz ABSTRACT Recently, geography has included in research the increasing role of religion in postmodern Western society and space. Religion is no more being understood as an objective truth, but as an individual experience of a person with a significant impact on the per - ception of space and place-making. This problematic undoubtedly requires a new theoretical and empirical perception in the new geographies of religion. This paper appeals for the geographical study of the relation between religion and (postsecular) space could be significantly enhanced using feminist approaches, which enable the inclusion of personal experiences and individuality in the geographies of religion. Using the feminist approaches, the changes in religious climate, ongoing currently in the West, including Czechia, could be beer tt addressed in geography. Thus, the paper theoretically discusses the potential of feminist approaches and argues especially for the relevancy of four topics, personal experience of people, emotions, embodiment, and the everydayness, which can offer new insights into understandings of the relation between religion and space. Similarly, methodologies used by feminist scholars provide unique option for getting to know how religious people interact with sacred as well as secular space. Therefore, the paper aims to justify the contribution of feminist approaches and the empirical research considering the creation of sacred space and framing the everyday religious experience of people. KEYWORDS feminist approach; sacred space; religious identity; place-making; everyday experience Received: 6 March 2019 Accepted: 15 April 2020 Published online: 7 May 2020 Klingorová, K. (2020): Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion: experience, emotions, everydayness and embodiment in postsecular society and space. AUC Geographica 55(1), 123–133 https://doi.org/10.14712/23361980.2020.9 © 2020 The Author. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0). 124 Kamila Klingorová of space and place on the other (Dwyer 2016). The 1. Introduction new geographies of religion (Kong 2010) are bounded Religion is a diverse phenomenon which could be with the new cultural geography in a way in which understood in many ways: as a cultural system, an they study religion in the everyday life of ordinary institution, a specific belief in transcendence, or an people, focus on the dynamic relationships (between individual emotional experience. All these forms secularity and sacrality) in space, and use individual address complex experiences of person and form her/ and qualitative approaches. Overall, the thinking of his relationship with the world itself. The cultural and the new geographies of religion should move themat- institutional form of religion (e.g. churches, religious ically from the ‘big’, traditional religions to spirituality institutions or civilizations) has been the subject of and individual religiosity, empirically from religious social geography research for decades. However, the authorities to women, young people and other minor individual religious experience, its role in people’s groups, and from general patterns to experiences, life, understanding and spatial patterns, started to be spatially from temples and mosques to living rooms, acknowledged in geography in the last two decades, and in scale from global differentiation of religion to approximately, particularly because this form of belief human body. has been started to dominate in the current Western Concerning the individual and emotional expe - society, which is also the case of Czechia (Havlíček and rience of a person with religion and/or transcend- Klingorová 2018; Nešpor 2018). ence, it is important to focus on ‘how (do) different The individual religious experience is especially groups of men and women with different markers of valuable in relation with postmodern values in society social difference – race, class, age, disability, sexuali- where individuality is an important variable. With the ty, locality – experience their religion and their use of raise of postmodernity (Beckford 1992), the impor- religious space, and how do these people respond to tance of religion and spirituality deepens, especially other groups of men and women’ (Hopkins 2009: 12). in relation to the social and cultural identity of people For such study, Hopkins (2009) pointed to the possi- and in relation to public space (Cloke and Beaumont bility of using feminist approaches in the geographies 2013; Beaumont and Baker 2011; Kong 2010). The of religion. reasons for the increase in the role of religion are to In this paper, I would like to support this state- be found in the processes of globalization and migra- ment and argue that the studies of the relationship tion, among others (Dwyer 2016; Henkel 2011; Kong between person, religion and (postsecular) space 2010). could be well enhanced using feminist geographies. Furthermore, the form and function of religion is Even though the geographies of religion are not an changing in postmodern space. These changes are increasingly developed subfield in Czechia, I believe described in the concept of postsecularisation (e.g. that the feminist approaches in the studies of reli- Williams 2015; Sturm 2013; Habermas 2008; Berger gion and space could significantly enrich discussion 1999). Religion is becoming more heterogeneous and and, more importantly, empirical studies of religion is more often understood and lived as the individu- and space in Czechia. I build on Kong’s (2001, 2010) al experience of a person than as an objective truth appeal for studying the ‘poetics’ of religious experi- formed by religious texts and institutions (Heelas ence which needs to be understood at the scale of the and Woodhead 2005). Together with deinstitutional- human body. Even though in most of the geographies ization of religiosity, religion and spirituality moved of religion literature, and in social science as a whole, from the ‘officially sacred’ space of churches and feminist approaches have been considered mostly in temples to the space of the ordinary everyday life of relation with patriarchy and hierarchical relations, I people (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018; Kong 2010; argue that feminist approaches could be applied in Gökarıksel 2009; Brace, Bailey, and Harvey 2006; Hol- a context of ordinary person, her/his emotions and loway 2003), which is also the case of Czechia (Hav- body because they enable us not only to study gender líček and Klingorová 2018; Nešpor 2018). Generally and patriarchy, but also to emphasize the everyday speaking, religion and spirituality became dynamic level of experiencing religion and individual emo- variables which have a power to create and transform tions relating to religion and spirituality of a person every space and cross-over every border in postsecu- in space which is important in postmodern society. lar society (Gökariksel 2009). Thus, feminist approaches enable to address religious Therefore, alongside with these societal changes, changes at the theoretical, conceptual and method- religion and spirituality are increasingly discussed in ological level, change emotions and everydayness social geography (Dwyer 2016; Kong 2010; Dewsbury into analytical problems and, thus, include religion and Cloke 2009; Holloway 2006) as one category of and spirituality as emotional and personal subjects people’s identity as well as a determinant of space. into (empirical) spatial research. All these problems In critical and new cultural geography, religion is an are very relevant in the context of Czech postsecular important variable as well because it enriches the dis- space and society. cussion about the formation of social identities, ine- Therefore, the main aim of this paper is to contrib- qualities and values on one hand, and the formation ute to the interpretation of the relationship between Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion 125 religion and space from the feminist perspective and others who may practice different faiths, practice the theoretically as well as methodologically develop the same faith differently, or be non-religious in outlook’ argument that religion and spirituality are present in (Gökarıksel and Secor 2015: 21). Postsecularisation the space of ordinary, everyday life of people, public mostly designates the growing presence of religion and private. Apart from the obvious theme of patriar- in the public sphere and the growing plurality of reli- chy and gender hierarchy, I discuss and further expand gious communities (Williams 2015; Cloke and Beau- four topics of the geographies of religion for which the mont 2013; Beaumont and Baker eds. 2011). Also, feminist approach is relevant: emotions, lived expe- geographers of religion (e.g. Gökariksel and Secor riences, everydayness and embodiment, arguing that 2015; Williams 2015) speak about greater respect for these are the problems of the interaction of religion the diverse religious cultures of postsecular spaces. and space in the period of postsecular society which Since the society is more willing to live with religion need to be further developed. Moreover, I argue that (Cloke and Beaumont 2013) and especially with new the methodological approach used in feminist geogra- religious movements, postsecularisation also brings phies provides unique option for getting to know how about a shift in the public perception of the role and religious people interact with postsecular private and potential usefulness of religion in society. Postsecu- public space in their everyday life. larisation is especially apparent in society in the West in about last 20–30 years (Henkel 2014; Cloke and Beaumont 2013; Beaumont and Baker 2011). 2. Postsecularism in geographical research In geography, the discussion about postsecularisa- tion was raised at the turn of the millennium (Kong Changes in the opinion of people on religion and 2010). In general, geography enriches postsecular churches relate to increasing social emphasis on post- theory questioning continuous secularization and material values in the Western world (cities mostly, analyzing the interaction of secularity and sacrali- Inglehart and Appel 1989). People who emphasize ty in space (see Havlíček and Klingorová 2018; del- self-expression, self-development and quality of la Dora 2018; Gökarıksel and Secor 2015; Williams life over material goods put more stress on the way 2015; Henkel 2014; Tse 2014; Cloke and Beaumont religion can help them with their personal develop- 2013; Olson et al. 2013; Beaumont and Baker 2011; ment instead of security and safety under the roof Kong 2010). The thesis of this discussion reflects the of a church. Therefore, the institutionalized form of theories described above and enriches it with spatial practicing religion and the religion of objective truth dimension. The main idea is that ‘“crossing-over” in is decreasing while, at the same time, people increas- the public arena between the religious and the secu- ingly prioritize subjective and privatized ideas about lar’ occurs (Cloke and Beaumont 2013: 2). Thus, even transcendence (Heelas and Woodhead 2005; Heelas though religion is (re)appearing in public space (Kong 1996). They choose those ideas which help them in 2010), secularisation continues (Sturm 2013). The their personal self-development. Individual religion processes of secularisation and desecularisation of is often connected with Protestant Christianity and, space therefore act simultaneously (see for example usually, energies, esoterism, Eastern and pre-Chris- Havlíček and Klingorová 2018). tian traditions, however, every person can have dif- The ‘postsecular turn’ in geography comes hand ferent and very diverse ideas about transcendence. in hand with the ‘new’ geographies of religion (Kong Some of the spiritual ideas became the basis of the 2001) which separate the ‘politics’ of religious space so called new religious movements (Vojtíšek 2007; from the ‘poetics’, first emphasizing power relation in Heelas 1996) which concentrate on personal devel- the process of making sacred space, second highlight- opment, quality of life and controlling negative emo- ing sacred place-making as ‘a part of people’s experi- tions. Therefore, the religion of subjective experience ence of the religious’ (Kong 2001: 218). This differ- and individual spirituality plays an increasing role ence illustrates the same change as from the religion in public space of the ‘West’ nowadays (Heelas and of objective truth to the religion of subjective expe- Woodhead 2005), while traditional (church) religios- rience. The ‘politics’ of religion is closely tied with ity is decreasing. problems such as differences in religious adherence, The processes outlined above have been described, diffusion of religions, differences in traditions and analyzed and theorized in social sciences for many religious conflicts. In geographies of religion stud - decades (started by Luckman 1967; Berger 1999; ies concerning these problems, quantitative data are among others). Habermas (2008) described such used the most. processes as postsecularisation. He emphasizes inter- The ‘poetics’ of religious experience is more con- mingling of diverse forms of religion and spirituality nected with personal identity of a person, her/his in public space together with secularity, which alto- perception of sacredness (in space) and with creat- gether form the postsecular society and space (see ing religious community (Kong 2001). Apart from the more Havlíček and Klingorová 2018). ‘Key to Haber- ‘poetics’ of sacred, terms such as everydayness, per- mas’ idea of post-secularism is the integration of reli- ception, experience, identity, community, body, and gious ways of being within a public arena shared by diversity occur when going further beyond Kong’s 126 Kamila Klingorová (2001, 2010) ideas. Among others, Kong (2010) asks but does not have to, dominate in the given place, to study the places beyond ‘officially sacred’ such as region, state, civilization, or cultural sphere. pilgrimage sites, religious schools or roadside memo- Even though the problematics of patriarchy is rials. However, one can argue that the places beyond undoubtedly important, feminist approaches should ‘officially sacred’ should not be limited to places not be limited only to the study of gender and patri- which hold religious symbols as Kong describes them archy. It might bring a broader perspective into the and, thus, include places of the ordinary everyday life research on the relationship between religion and of people. The transcendence is more often present space. As defined within feminist geographies (e.g. in spaces of everyday life of a person than in ‘official- Sharp 2009; Pratt 2009; McDowell and Sharp 1999; ly sacred’ spaces (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018; Nast 1994), feminist approaches take heterogeneity Klingorová and Vojtíšek 2018; Finlayson 2012, 2017; into account, focus on the (cultural) construction of Kong 2011; Holloway 2003, etc.), especially at the lev- identity of a person, and consider human body and el of personal perception and experiences. People cre- emotions as research subjects. Here I find relation ate sacred spaces for example through ‘informal’ reli- with the new geographies of religion which intend to gious practice (Klingorová and Vojtíšek 2018) or by focus on the ‘poetics’ of sacred and everyday experi- experiencing their everyday activities ‘through God’ ence of religion in postsecular space. (Klingorová 2016). Thus, every space, even seeming- ly secular, could be perceived as sacred. Furthermore, 3.1 Religious experience of women the ‘politics’ of religion are being developed more at the global and national scale, while the ‘poetics’ of reli- One exciting area to explore is the everyday experi- gious experience needs to be understood at the scale ence of different people who belong to a particular of the human body. Lastly, Kong argues that different religion, but also of people who interact with a space geographies of religion of different groups of people, where such religion dominates. The focus on women for example men, women, children, adults, elderly, experiencing religion in space has been well devel- should be theorized and their different experiences of oping over last decade or so (e.g. Klingorová and sacred in public and private space should be studied. Gökarıksel 2018; Olson et al. 2013; Gökarıksel 2007, Geographers of religion have already started to 2009, 2012; Morin and Guelke 2007; Falah and Nagel focus on religious experience in space and did a great 2005; Secor 2002, 2003; Dwyer 1999a,b). This body job, however, there are still several topics, contexts, of scholarship takes without any doubt the biggest part of ‘feminist’ geographies of religion. It attempts problems and examples which need to be taken into consideration and further developed. Development to distance from the ‘old’ geography of religion where of these themes in the new geographies of religion research focused on ordinary women’s experience requires theoretical and empirical approach which was underrepresented. would allow to deal with its abstractness and focus on The initial assumption of such studies is the spe- individual matters of life in private space. The ques- cific role of women adhering to a minor religion in tion I ask is, therefore, how could feminist approach a sacred space where a different major religion pre- enhance Kong and others’ calls for increased atten- vails, or in a secular space. Most typically, it is Muslim tion to religious experience of ordinary people? women in a secular or dominantly Christian space, e.g. Western and Central Europe. The problematic of the role of religious women within dissimilar religious 3. Agendas for feminist approaches space is strongly tied with politicization of secular or religious norms and values, and with feminist geopol- In geography (and other disciplines as well), feminism itics (e.g. Gökarıksel and Secor 2015; Berghammer had long time been understood as a concept seeking and Fliegenschnee 2011; Dowler and Sharp 2001). inclusion of gender hierarchy, patriarchy and wom- Very lively discussion is about different headscarf en’s experience into research. This agenda could be policies in Western Europe where the headscarf pol- associated with the ‘politics’ where patriarchy relates icies at the state level differ in relation to differences to oppression and inequalities within religion. The in gender equality, culture and religious dominance, relation between religion and the role of women and from regulation to accommodation (Sauer 2009). The gender inequalities in society is still worldwide dis- way headscarf policies and religious power relations cussed subject (e.g. Tomalin 2013; Woodhead 2013; in general are formed and experienced ‘from below’, Seguino 2011; McGuire 2008; Inglehart and Norris meaning by ordinary people (women in this case), 2003; Ingersoll 2003). It is very sensitive subject could be understood through the analysis of everyday because gender discrimination is not only contained spaces (Gökarıksel 2012). A closer look at the spaces in the substance of religion, but is a result of its polit- of the everyday, ordinary life of people enables us to icization and use in power relations as well. The spe- ‘keep women visible in rapidly changing world con- cific relationship between religion and gender hierar- ditions, where their activities tend to slip into the chy is determined by the concrete social and cultural shadows of dominant models in the literature’ (Dyck context (Klingorová and Havlíček 2015) which could, 2005: 234). Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion 127 Despite criticism of Kong (2010) who says that reli- 3.2 Everyday life and space of religion gions other than Islam are overlooked in geographies of religion, the problematics of Muslim women still As I mentioned above, the most resonating theme dominates the debate. Most often, Islam is studied as concerning women’s experience with religion is a minor religion in the context of the dominantly sec- veiling. But women’s experience of religion doesn’t ularized Western Europe (Berghammer and Fliegen- belong only to public, but also to a private space. The schnee 2011; Dwyer 1999a,b), in Turkey (Gökarıksel contextual shift from the public to the private space 2009, 2012; Secor 2002, 2007) or in the Middle East in the geographies of religion could be considered as (Fenster 2007). Problems raised in these geograph- one of the most important contributions of feminist ic, social and cultural contexts justify such research approaches. However, these two spaces – public and themselves. Further, religious experience of Muslim private – should not be separated because religion is women is strongly tied with veiling as a spatial prac- crossing-over the borders of both spaces. Even though tice expressing their religious identity (e.g. Gökarıksel the everyday life of a person is more connected with 2009, 2012; Sauer 2009; Secor 2007; Dwyer 1999b). the private space (but should not be interchanged) Through the practice of veiling, a women’s embodied through activities such as housework, leisure time experience with religion could be studied at differ - or commuting, everydayness is not limited only to ent levels, as well as Muslim women’s contact with private or public space, nor the everyday religious public space. ‘Dress is important for understanding experience. In this part of the paper, I focus on every- gender, religion, and space because it is an embodied dayness as a concept crossing-over public and private practice through which religious ways of being are space and described as the quotidian, ordinary, rou- represented and enacted’ (Secor 2007: 153). Veiling tine or everyday (contrasting to special, exceptional) clearly expresses Muslim women’s identity on the activities of people and spaces where these activities outside. A veiled women’s interaction with space are located (Pinder 2009). I understand everyday life is, thus, a phenomenon whose analysis can enrich as activities through which people experience space research on religion and space, especially in the case around them. Thus, everydayness can involve every of secular and dissimilarly religious public space. activity of a person through which they live her/his On the contrary, one may argue that studying ide- life. The cultural turn switched the attention of geog- ologically non-conflicting relations between religion, raphy to such places and activities and how these are women and space is important for identification of experienced, shaped and transformed by people. possible problems of such an interaction. However, For geographies of religion, ‘the everyday is crit- for example, Christianity in secular or culturally Chris- ical because the boundaries between the secular tian space (such as for example in the West) is not an and the religious are constituted and maintained, as experience significantly appearing on the outflow of well as destabilized, transgressed and reformed, on human body. Laic Christianity does not show up in a daily basis through seemingly mundane practices’ appearance or clothing of a woman, which enables her (Gökarıksel 2012: 6). The geographies of religion to better blend with the majority in a public space. have already started turning their interest from ‘spe- The most common symbol of Christianity on woman’s cial’ places such as church or temple to lived religion body, a cross necklace, is not very noticeable and often (MacKian 2012; McGuire 2008; Hunt 2005; Kong even doesn’t express religiosity of its holder. A veil is 2001 etc.) and to everyday practice and manifesta- also a symbol of Christianity but is nowadays used tions of faith (or secularity) in everyday spaces (Klin- almost exclusively by Nuns. As unusual clothing of gorová and Gökarıksel 2018; Dwyer 2015; Olson et al. Christian women could be considered formal clothing 2013; Vincett et al. 2012; Gökarıksel 2009 etc.). worn by women on Sunday. Because Sunday is a day of The routine everyday religious practices of indi- a worship in many Christian churches, women consid- viduals are complex, dynamic and lived and, thus, can er Sunday as a ‘day spent with God’ (Klingorová 2016) be very different from practices of religious institu - and, therefore, wear more formal dress than weekdays. tions and organizations (McGuire 2008). One of the However, formally dressed Christian women on possible strategies for dealing with everydayness in their way to church or Nuns are not considered as the geographies of religion is to let the definition of members of a different culture in (for example) the everydayness be a subjective understanding of an West, which is not the case for veiled Muslim women. examined group and, therefore, to work with eve - It makes the subject of Christian women experience rydayness in a way which the actors subjectively less problem-related than Muslim women experience. describe it (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018). Anoth- But, in my point of view, there are other themes which er problem which the researcher should deal with is desire to be developed such as the difference between that research on experiencing religion in everyday life Catholic and Protestant women experience in relation and space could avoid places which are ‘special’ or to confession or celibacy, the experience of women extraordinary, both in the context of the everyday life priests, women’s role in the openness of Christian of a person and in a religious context, places such as churches to broader society (the case of maternity or pilgrimage sites, sacred mountains and other places parental centers) and many more. which are not visited on regular basis, but on special 128 Kamila Klingorová occasions and only once. However, visiting such plac- sacred’ space (Dwyer 2016; Gökarıksel 2009) because es can have an important influence on an individu - such places are more ‘lived’. For example, a library al’s experience of faith. The impression can even be with exposed religious symbols, a tree on the edge of projected into everyday experience and formation of a meadow (Klingorová and Vojtíšek 2018), a kitchen everyday places of religion. unit or even a bus stop (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018) could become a sacred place for an individual 3.3 Emotions and lived religion through her/his emotional religious experience. Emo- tional geographies thus allow us to develop research Everyday spatial experience with religion is strongly on religious space and place, it’s formation and trans- tied with the emotional and subjective experience of formation, considering everydayness and lived reli- individuals (Bartolini et al. 2017; Finlayson 2012; Nast gion (MacKian 2012; McGuire 2008; Hunt 2005). The and Pile 1998 etc.). Religion is an emotional experi- interest in religious emotions reflects the argument of ence and emotions play a key role in the formation of McGuire (2008) who says that it is important to study sacred place (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018). Thus, religion not in a way which is defined by institutions, individual and collective emotions should be consid- but in a way in which religion is lived in the everyday ered in religion-geographic research. It was the fem- life of people. Of course, one cannot say that religious inist approaches which started the emotional turn in experience is weaker in a church or a temple, but reli- social geography (Davidson, Bondi, and Smith 2005; gious experience in such ‘officially sacred’ places is Pringle 1999) highlighting that feelings and emo - more formed by religious symbolic, ritual and collec- tions are important for geographic research because tive experience (Finlayson 2017) and less personal. they form a way in which people perceive space and place (Davidson, Bondi, and Smith 2005). ‘Emotion- 3.4 Embodied experiences with religion al geographies emphasize how embodied emotions are connected to specific places and contexts because Finally, feminist approaches might contribute to the questions about how emotions are embodied and research on religion and place by bringing the focus located merit further elaboration in the context of onto embodied experiences. Embodiment has a broad typical and less typical everyday lives’ (Davidson, overlap with research on everydayness, emotions Bondi, and Smith 2005: 5). People assign meanings and women’s experiences. Every research on reli- to places through emotions which reflect their sub- gion works, necessarily, with embodied experiences such as baptism, marriage, confession, confirma- jective interpretation and perception (Sharp 2009). Thus, emotional geographies enrich research on per- tion, or funeral (Dewsbury and Cloke 2009). Regular ception of place and cultural geography in particular church visit is an (everyday) embodied experience because emotions are gained with cultural values and as well (Wigley 2016). Furthermore, a human’s body determined by the circumstances and concepts of a is an element in space on which religion can be visi- particular culture (Pringle 1999). bly manifested. Religious people use their bodies to Like other cultural patterns, religion forms the express their identity (Kong 2010) in, for example, emotions and perception of religious, but also non-re- wearing veils, skullcaps, cross necklaces, or vestment. ligious people. Even people who do not believe in God A human’s body outwardly reflects the individual’s or other concrete transcendental power consider identity, values, and morality and, thus, becomes an transcendence and energy in places of nature and a indicator of religiosity. Simultaneously, a human’s calm, pleasant environment where they can deeply body is an instrument through which people religious- think about life questions (Klingorová and Gökarık- ly experience space (Kong 2010; Gökarıksel 2009; sel 2018). Thus, religion contributes to the meaning Holloway 2006; Bailey, Harvey, and Brace 2007 etc.). Recently, the human body has gained more and of sacred and secular places as well. Emotions relat- ed to religion can be positive, but also negative. Posi- more attention in social geography (Bailey, Har- tive emotions prevail because religion usually brings vey, and Brace 2007; Rodaway 1994). Research on peace, calmness, happiness, usefulness, satisfaction, embodiment could be enriching for studying religion and answers to important questions into an individ- and space, especially when we consider the body as ual’s life (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018). Negative an active subject. The body plays an important role in emotions related to religion could be feelings of dis- the production of a sacred (and secular) place (Hollo- comfort, shame, vulnerability and fear connected with way 2003) and, simultaneously, is the most ‘private’ everyday experience of exclusion, religious intoler- and the most intensively experienced place in which ance, or even racism (Hopkins 2006, 2007). Such neg- religion manifests (or does not manifest). ative emotions often importantly influence an individ- Furthermore, a human body as a transcendence ual’s everyday time-space behavior when the person holder has the ability to bring sacrality into place tries to avoid places where her/his religious identity and to make sense of sacred space (Holloway 2003, 2006; Sheldrake 2001), which reflects the ideas of the is in the minority. As discussed above, people have the most strik- humanists Tuan or Buttimer (Kong 2001). According ing religious experiences in places beyond ‘officially to Eliade (1959), sacred place is created in secular Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion 129 (profane in Eliade’s words) space through sacred Hopkins, and Kwan 2007; Hopkins 2007) or major - experience. ity (Gökarıksel and Secor 2017a; Olson et al. 2013; Thus, sacred place is part of space which gains Hopkins et al. 2011; Gökarıksel and McLarney 2010) special (transcendental, sacred, religious) meaning or formation of behavior and everyday practices (e.g. through ritual or religious experience of a person Gökarıksel and Secor 2015, 2017a,b; Wigley 2016; or group of people (Sheldrake 2001) who have (and Holloway 2003). The empirical analysis should there- share) interest in such a place. Sacred place therefore fore acknowledge what is unique, specific and individ- does not have to involve any religious symbols, it only ual, such as the place, body or identity. Methods so far can be created, transformed, perceived, or experi- predominantly used in the geographies religion are enced with a presence of a body. Such places do not not able to achieve these goals, especially those which have to be identifiable at first sight. Thus, sacred place have quantitative character. Methodological approach could be identified by an individual in any, seemingly which consider all the personal nuances of religion is secular space and ‘the sacred is made and remade in needed, for which we can look for inspiration in the everyday spaces through the embodied and emotion- feminist geographical research. al practices of religiously affiliated and non-affiliated’ Even though the methods which are typical for people (women in this case, Klingorová and Gökarık- feminist geographies are hard to generalize, two sel 2018: 56). common characteristics are to be find: the feminist The current development in geographies of reli- research primarily works with qualitative partic- gion (e.g. Olson et al. 2013; Gökarıksel 2009; Hollo - ipative methods and analyze the problem in ordi- way 2003, 2006) includes the role of embodiment and nary, everyday spaces from a specific point of view emotions in production of sacred places (Finlayson of a concrete group of people. These strategies were 2012). It perceives the human body as ‘the primary partly adopted by the already existing scholarship site through which transcendence and its associated of ‘feminist’ geographies of religion. Also, the influ- religious authenticity can be achieved by bringing ence is obvious in comparison of preferred methods faith simultaneously outward and inward’ (Olson of the ‘old’ and the new geographies of religion. The et al. 2013: 1432). Further, research on embodied ‘old’ geography of religion worked prevailingly with experiencing religion supports the thesis that sacred descriptive quantitative methods (Rinschede 1999), and secular space are inseparable because religion, the research focused on macroregional, sociological through embodied experiencing, has the ability to and religionist analysis and methods were selected to get into every space of everyday life. Usually, the describe the diffusion of religion and its influence on human body is not limited to ‘officially sacred’ or oth- landscape. The new geographies of religion instead er spaces. The research on embodied experiences is, deal with local and personal specifics of the relation- thus, ‘a good starting point for challenging any site as ship between religion and space using behavioral being wholly sacred or wholly profane, emphasizing approaches. The most commonly, combined methods instead a relationship of spatial construction’ (Olson inspired in ethnography, anthropology and sociology et al. 2013: 1424) and transformation of space. Every are used, for example combination of semistructured sacred space should be understood in accordance interviews with participant observation (Gökarıksel with the person or people who created such place. 2009), discourse analysis (Gökarıksel 2007) or sta- The tension between the sacred and secular meaning tistical analysis (Besio 2007; more see at Gökarıksel of places exists at the material, symbolic, and ideolog- 2012; Fenster 2007), or participative photography ical level (Gökarıksel 2009; Howe 2009; Kong 2001) (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018; Klingorová and and ‘the duality of the sacred and secular breaks Vojtíšek 2018). down and their geographies appear more fluid and Generally, the most of researches which could be transformative’ (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018: included in ‘feminist’ geographies of religion apply 56). Thus, from the feminist perspective highlight- participative approaches engaging with (mostly) ing the role of human body, Eliade’s understanding women (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018; Klingorová of sacred and secular spaces as two different, sepa- and Vojtíšek 2018; Gökarıksel and Secor 2015; Olson rated and incompatible spheres could be considered et al. 2013; Dwyer 1999a,b; 2015, Hopkins 2006; as overcome because each person can perceive and Secor 2002). Participative research enables to enter experience the same place differently. private space of involved person, analyze her/his emotional experience in detail (Pain 2004; Breitbart 2003), reflect specific conditions and knowledge of 3.5 Methodological approach people, bring more authentic look (Noland 2006) and be more sensitive to minorities (Pain 2004). Further, The themes defined and discussed above have com- participative methods allow research participant to mon focus on problems of individual experience, decide alone which part (if ever) of private space is everydayness, emotions and body from the empiri - he/she willing to open for research. Also, participa- cal point of view. More attention is put on formation tive research minimalizes the hierarchical relations of personal identity of religious minority (Aitchison, between researcher and studied group and, thus, 130 Kamila Klingorová makes the discussion about sensitive themes such experiences and perception of religion and sacred as inequality, abuse or minority religion easier. Par- space, but, in particular, to encourage research on ticipants are allowed to define themselves how they religion in space at an everyday and personal level. understand research themes such as religion, spirit- Feminist geographies’ focus on personal everyday uality, everydayness, inequality, hierarchy etc. The experience can offer new insights into understand- research thus better reflects the real perception of a ing of the relation between religion and space. Fem- studied group. inist approaches also reflect general societal trends Furthermore, methods in the new geographies of in Czech society, which are connected with postmod- religions need to acknowledge secularity and secular ernism and theorized as postsecularism in the sphere space as well. Undoubtedly, lived religion and reli- of religious changes. In postsecular society, religion is gious experience of people should not be limited only no longer only about visiting church on Sunday, but into sacred space. Also, people who do not adhere any also about experiencing everyday moments through institutionalized religion often deal with personal religious ethics and informal spiritual practice. Reli- spirituality or individual religious experience which is gion as a personal emotional everyday experience hard to categorize or even describe by the participant of space is a key factor in production of the individ- itself. Thus, the perspective which reflects the indi- ual identity of a person. Not only people who adhere vidual though of a person and the local socio-cultural some traditional religion, but also those who do not characteristics of a concrete space and place must be declare institutional religiosity experience their own applied. These reasons lead again to the use of com- spirituality. And the context of the mostly secularized bined and participative methods, acknowledging the space of Czechia highlights the individual dimension spatial aspect. of religion which could be included within geogra - However, other methodological approaches such phies of religion using feminist approaches. as descriptive or quantitative methods are to be con- Further, the discussion above led to assumption sidered as complementary or even the only suitable that religious experience with space reflects broad- methods in many cases. Quantitative methods allow er socio-cultural issues because religion importantly to acknowledge the general context and gain com- shapes individual’s relation to the world through its parative view. Thus, the extensive research should norms and traditions. The everyday context of reli- be enriched with intensive research (and vice ver- gious experiences is instructive to examine public sa) which allows to move the research from general issues (Dunn 2005) such as culture, politics, econom- to personal context and from public to private space ics, integration, gender relations etc. For example, the where the religion of subjective experience, prevailing currently topical problematic of migration and cultur- in the postsecular society, acts the most. al integration could be approached trough the indi- vidual geographies of religion of actors. Therefore, understanding the contexts through which people 4. Conclusion of different religion individually perceive, construct and transform sacred spaces of everyday is important The longstanding development which feminist geog- not only to the geographies of religion but also to the raphies have undergone from the Geography of wom- (new) cultural and social geography as whole. en through the Geography of gender relations to the Feminist geographies of difference (Pratt 2009) ended up with the main focus on the construction of identi- Acknowledgements ties of different people and emphasizing the plurality of experiences of people. In geographies of religion, a The paper was supported by The Czech Science Foun- similar development could be traced: from the ‘old’ dation (grant number 17-08370S). geography focusing on institutions and description of diffusion and manifestations of religion, the field moved to the ‘new’ geographies studying the mutually References constructive relationship between religion and space Aitchison, C., Hopkins, P., Kwan, M. P. (eds.) (2007): with a special focus on the role of an ordinary person Geographies of Muslim identities: diaspora, gender, and in this relationship. Both these developments follow a belonging. Aldershot, Ashgate similar trend, simply put, from description to studying Bailey, A. R., Harvey, D. C., Brace, C. (2007): Disciplining relationships between space and person. This com- Youthful Methodist Bodies in Nineteenth-Century mon theoretical and empirical development encour- Cornwall. 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Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion: experience, emotions, everydayness and embodiment in postsecular society and space

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Original Article 123 Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion: experience, emoo ti ns, everydayness and embodiment in postsecular society and space Kamila Klingorová* Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Czechia * Corresponding author: kamila.klingorova@natur.cuni.cz ABSTRACT Recently, geography has included in research the increasing role of religion in postmodern Western society and space. Religion is no more being understood as an objective truth, but as an individual experience of a person with a significant impact on the per - ception of space and place-making. This problematic undoubtedly requires a new theoretical and empirical perception in the new geographies of religion. This paper appeals for the geographical study of the relation between religion and (postsecular) space could be significantly enhanced using feminist approaches, which enable the inclusion of personal experiences and individuality in the geographies of religion. Using the feminist approaches, the changes in religious climate, ongoing currently in the West, including Czechia, could be beer tt addressed in geography. Thus, the paper theoretically discusses the potential of feminist approaches and argues especially for the relevancy of four topics, personal experience of people, emotions, embodiment, and the everydayness, which can offer new insights into understandings of the relation between religion and space. Similarly, methodologies used by feminist scholars provide unique option for getting to know how religious people interact with sacred as well as secular space. Therefore, the paper aims to justify the contribution of feminist approaches and the empirical research considering the creation of sacred space and framing the everyday religious experience of people. KEYWORDS feminist approach; sacred space; religious identity; place-making; everyday experience Received: 6 March 2019 Accepted: 15 April 2020 Published online: 7 May 2020 Klingorová, K. (2020): Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion: experience, emotions, everydayness and embodiment in postsecular society and space. AUC Geographica 55(1), 123–133 https://doi.org/10.14712/23361980.2020.9 © 2020 The Author. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0). 124 Kamila Klingorová of space and place on the other (Dwyer 2016). The 1. Introduction new geographies of religion (Kong 2010) are bounded Religion is a diverse phenomenon which could be with the new cultural geography in a way in which understood in many ways: as a cultural system, an they study religion in the everyday life of ordinary institution, a specific belief in transcendence, or an people, focus on the dynamic relationships (between individual emotional experience. All these forms secularity and sacrality) in space, and use individual address complex experiences of person and form her/ and qualitative approaches. Overall, the thinking of his relationship with the world itself. The cultural and the new geographies of religion should move themat- institutional form of religion (e.g. churches, religious ically from the ‘big’, traditional religions to spirituality institutions or civilizations) has been the subject of and individual religiosity, empirically from religious social geography research for decades. However, the authorities to women, young people and other minor individual religious experience, its role in people’s groups, and from general patterns to experiences, life, understanding and spatial patterns, started to be spatially from temples and mosques to living rooms, acknowledged in geography in the last two decades, and in scale from global differentiation of religion to approximately, particularly because this form of belief human body. has been started to dominate in the current Western Concerning the individual and emotional expe - society, which is also the case of Czechia (Havlíček and rience of a person with religion and/or transcend- Klingorová 2018; Nešpor 2018). ence, it is important to focus on ‘how (do) different The individual religious experience is especially groups of men and women with different markers of valuable in relation with postmodern values in society social difference – race, class, age, disability, sexuali- where individuality is an important variable. With the ty, locality – experience their religion and their use of raise of postmodernity (Beckford 1992), the impor- religious space, and how do these people respond to tance of religion and spirituality deepens, especially other groups of men and women’ (Hopkins 2009: 12). in relation to the social and cultural identity of people For such study, Hopkins (2009) pointed to the possi- and in relation to public space (Cloke and Beaumont bility of using feminist approaches in the geographies 2013; Beaumont and Baker 2011; Kong 2010). The of religion. reasons for the increase in the role of religion are to In this paper, I would like to support this state- be found in the processes of globalization and migra- ment and argue that the studies of the relationship tion, among others (Dwyer 2016; Henkel 2011; Kong between person, religion and (postsecular) space 2010). could be well enhanced using feminist geographies. Furthermore, the form and function of religion is Even though the geographies of religion are not an changing in postmodern space. These changes are increasingly developed subfield in Czechia, I believe described in the concept of postsecularisation (e.g. that the feminist approaches in the studies of reli- Williams 2015; Sturm 2013; Habermas 2008; Berger gion and space could significantly enrich discussion 1999). Religion is becoming more heterogeneous and and, more importantly, empirical studies of religion is more often understood and lived as the individu- and space in Czechia. I build on Kong’s (2001, 2010) al experience of a person than as an objective truth appeal for studying the ‘poetics’ of religious experi- formed by religious texts and institutions (Heelas ence which needs to be understood at the scale of the and Woodhead 2005). Together with deinstitutional- human body. Even though in most of the geographies ization of religiosity, religion and spirituality moved of religion literature, and in social science as a whole, from the ‘officially sacred’ space of churches and feminist approaches have been considered mostly in temples to the space of the ordinary everyday life of relation with patriarchy and hierarchical relations, I people (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018; Kong 2010; argue that feminist approaches could be applied in Gökarıksel 2009; Brace, Bailey, and Harvey 2006; Hol- a context of ordinary person, her/his emotions and loway 2003), which is also the case of Czechia (Hav- body because they enable us not only to study gender líček and Klingorová 2018; Nešpor 2018). Generally and patriarchy, but also to emphasize the everyday speaking, religion and spirituality became dynamic level of experiencing religion and individual emo- variables which have a power to create and transform tions relating to religion and spirituality of a person every space and cross-over every border in postsecu- in space which is important in postmodern society. lar society (Gökariksel 2009). Thus, feminist approaches enable to address religious Therefore, alongside with these societal changes, changes at the theoretical, conceptual and method- religion and spirituality are increasingly discussed in ological level, change emotions and everydayness social geography (Dwyer 2016; Kong 2010; Dewsbury into analytical problems and, thus, include religion and Cloke 2009; Holloway 2006) as one category of and spirituality as emotional and personal subjects people’s identity as well as a determinant of space. into (empirical) spatial research. All these problems In critical and new cultural geography, religion is an are very relevant in the context of Czech postsecular important variable as well because it enriches the dis- space and society. cussion about the formation of social identities, ine- Therefore, the main aim of this paper is to contrib- qualities and values on one hand, and the formation ute to the interpretation of the relationship between Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion 125 religion and space from the feminist perspective and others who may practice different faiths, practice the theoretically as well as methodologically develop the same faith differently, or be non-religious in outlook’ argument that religion and spirituality are present in (Gökarıksel and Secor 2015: 21). Postsecularisation the space of ordinary, everyday life of people, public mostly designates the growing presence of religion and private. Apart from the obvious theme of patriar- in the public sphere and the growing plurality of reli- chy and gender hierarchy, I discuss and further expand gious communities (Williams 2015; Cloke and Beau- four topics of the geographies of religion for which the mont 2013; Beaumont and Baker eds. 2011). Also, feminist approach is relevant: emotions, lived expe- geographers of religion (e.g. Gökariksel and Secor riences, everydayness and embodiment, arguing that 2015; Williams 2015) speak about greater respect for these are the problems of the interaction of religion the diverse religious cultures of postsecular spaces. and space in the period of postsecular society which Since the society is more willing to live with religion need to be further developed. Moreover, I argue that (Cloke and Beaumont 2013) and especially with new the methodological approach used in feminist geogra- religious movements, postsecularisation also brings phies provides unique option for getting to know how about a shift in the public perception of the role and religious people interact with postsecular private and potential usefulness of religion in society. Postsecu- public space in their everyday life. larisation is especially apparent in society in the West in about last 20–30 years (Henkel 2014; Cloke and Beaumont 2013; Beaumont and Baker 2011). 2. Postsecularism in geographical research In geography, the discussion about postsecularisa- tion was raised at the turn of the millennium (Kong Changes in the opinion of people on religion and 2010). In general, geography enriches postsecular churches relate to increasing social emphasis on post- theory questioning continuous secularization and material values in the Western world (cities mostly, analyzing the interaction of secularity and sacrali- Inglehart and Appel 1989). People who emphasize ty in space (see Havlíček and Klingorová 2018; del- self-expression, self-development and quality of la Dora 2018; Gökarıksel and Secor 2015; Williams life over material goods put more stress on the way 2015; Henkel 2014; Tse 2014; Cloke and Beaumont religion can help them with their personal develop- 2013; Olson et al. 2013; Beaumont and Baker 2011; ment instead of security and safety under the roof Kong 2010). The thesis of this discussion reflects the of a church. Therefore, the institutionalized form of theories described above and enriches it with spatial practicing religion and the religion of objective truth dimension. The main idea is that ‘“crossing-over” in is decreasing while, at the same time, people increas- the public arena between the religious and the secu- ingly prioritize subjective and privatized ideas about lar’ occurs (Cloke and Beaumont 2013: 2). Thus, even transcendence (Heelas and Woodhead 2005; Heelas though religion is (re)appearing in public space (Kong 1996). They choose those ideas which help them in 2010), secularisation continues (Sturm 2013). The their personal self-development. Individual religion processes of secularisation and desecularisation of is often connected with Protestant Christianity and, space therefore act simultaneously (see for example usually, energies, esoterism, Eastern and pre-Chris- Havlíček and Klingorová 2018). tian traditions, however, every person can have dif- The ‘postsecular turn’ in geography comes hand ferent and very diverse ideas about transcendence. in hand with the ‘new’ geographies of religion (Kong Some of the spiritual ideas became the basis of the 2001) which separate the ‘politics’ of religious space so called new religious movements (Vojtíšek 2007; from the ‘poetics’, first emphasizing power relation in Heelas 1996) which concentrate on personal devel- the process of making sacred space, second highlight- opment, quality of life and controlling negative emo- ing sacred place-making as ‘a part of people’s experi- tions. Therefore, the religion of subjective experience ence of the religious’ (Kong 2001: 218). This differ- and individual spirituality plays an increasing role ence illustrates the same change as from the religion in public space of the ‘West’ nowadays (Heelas and of objective truth to the religion of subjective expe- Woodhead 2005), while traditional (church) religios- rience. The ‘politics’ of religion is closely tied with ity is decreasing. problems such as differences in religious adherence, The processes outlined above have been described, diffusion of religions, differences in traditions and analyzed and theorized in social sciences for many religious conflicts. In geographies of religion stud - decades (started by Luckman 1967; Berger 1999; ies concerning these problems, quantitative data are among others). Habermas (2008) described such used the most. processes as postsecularisation. He emphasizes inter- The ‘poetics’ of religious experience is more con- mingling of diverse forms of religion and spirituality nected with personal identity of a person, her/his in public space together with secularity, which alto- perception of sacredness (in space) and with creat- gether form the postsecular society and space (see ing religious community (Kong 2001). Apart from the more Havlíček and Klingorová 2018). ‘Key to Haber- ‘poetics’ of sacred, terms such as everydayness, per- mas’ idea of post-secularism is the integration of reli- ception, experience, identity, community, body, and gious ways of being within a public arena shared by diversity occur when going further beyond Kong’s 126 Kamila Klingorová (2001, 2010) ideas. Among others, Kong (2010) asks but does not have to, dominate in the given place, to study the places beyond ‘officially sacred’ such as region, state, civilization, or cultural sphere. pilgrimage sites, religious schools or roadside memo- Even though the problematics of patriarchy is rials. However, one can argue that the places beyond undoubtedly important, feminist approaches should ‘officially sacred’ should not be limited to places not be limited only to the study of gender and patri- which hold religious symbols as Kong describes them archy. It might bring a broader perspective into the and, thus, include places of the ordinary everyday life research on the relationship between religion and of people. The transcendence is more often present space. As defined within feminist geographies (e.g. in spaces of everyday life of a person than in ‘official- Sharp 2009; Pratt 2009; McDowell and Sharp 1999; ly sacred’ spaces (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018; Nast 1994), feminist approaches take heterogeneity Klingorová and Vojtíšek 2018; Finlayson 2012, 2017; into account, focus on the (cultural) construction of Kong 2011; Holloway 2003, etc.), especially at the lev- identity of a person, and consider human body and el of personal perception and experiences. People cre- emotions as research subjects. Here I find relation ate sacred spaces for example through ‘informal’ reli- with the new geographies of religion which intend to gious practice (Klingorová and Vojtíšek 2018) or by focus on the ‘poetics’ of sacred and everyday experi- experiencing their everyday activities ‘through God’ ence of religion in postsecular space. (Klingorová 2016). Thus, every space, even seeming- ly secular, could be perceived as sacred. Furthermore, 3.1 Religious experience of women the ‘politics’ of religion are being developed more at the global and national scale, while the ‘poetics’ of reli- One exciting area to explore is the everyday experi- gious experience needs to be understood at the scale ence of different people who belong to a particular of the human body. Lastly, Kong argues that different religion, but also of people who interact with a space geographies of religion of different groups of people, where such religion dominates. The focus on women for example men, women, children, adults, elderly, experiencing religion in space has been well devel- should be theorized and their different experiences of oping over last decade or so (e.g. Klingorová and sacred in public and private space should be studied. Gökarıksel 2018; Olson et al. 2013; Gökarıksel 2007, Geographers of religion have already started to 2009, 2012; Morin and Guelke 2007; Falah and Nagel focus on religious experience in space and did a great 2005; Secor 2002, 2003; Dwyer 1999a,b). This body job, however, there are still several topics, contexts, of scholarship takes without any doubt the biggest part of ‘feminist’ geographies of religion. It attempts problems and examples which need to be taken into consideration and further developed. Development to distance from the ‘old’ geography of religion where of these themes in the new geographies of religion research focused on ordinary women’s experience requires theoretical and empirical approach which was underrepresented. would allow to deal with its abstractness and focus on The initial assumption of such studies is the spe- individual matters of life in private space. The ques- cific role of women adhering to a minor religion in tion I ask is, therefore, how could feminist approach a sacred space where a different major religion pre- enhance Kong and others’ calls for increased atten- vails, or in a secular space. Most typically, it is Muslim tion to religious experience of ordinary people? women in a secular or dominantly Christian space, e.g. Western and Central Europe. The problematic of the role of religious women within dissimilar religious 3. Agendas for feminist approaches space is strongly tied with politicization of secular or religious norms and values, and with feminist geopol- In geography (and other disciplines as well), feminism itics (e.g. Gökarıksel and Secor 2015; Berghammer had long time been understood as a concept seeking and Fliegenschnee 2011; Dowler and Sharp 2001). inclusion of gender hierarchy, patriarchy and wom- Very lively discussion is about different headscarf en’s experience into research. This agenda could be policies in Western Europe where the headscarf pol- associated with the ‘politics’ where patriarchy relates icies at the state level differ in relation to differences to oppression and inequalities within religion. The in gender equality, culture and religious dominance, relation between religion and the role of women and from regulation to accommodation (Sauer 2009). The gender inequalities in society is still worldwide dis- way headscarf policies and religious power relations cussed subject (e.g. Tomalin 2013; Woodhead 2013; in general are formed and experienced ‘from below’, Seguino 2011; McGuire 2008; Inglehart and Norris meaning by ordinary people (women in this case), 2003; Ingersoll 2003). It is very sensitive subject could be understood through the analysis of everyday because gender discrimination is not only contained spaces (Gökarıksel 2012). A closer look at the spaces in the substance of religion, but is a result of its polit- of the everyday, ordinary life of people enables us to icization and use in power relations as well. The spe- ‘keep women visible in rapidly changing world con- cific relationship between religion and gender hierar- ditions, where their activities tend to slip into the chy is determined by the concrete social and cultural shadows of dominant models in the literature’ (Dyck context (Klingorová and Havlíček 2015) which could, 2005: 234). Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion 127 Despite criticism of Kong (2010) who says that reli- 3.2 Everyday life and space of religion gions other than Islam are overlooked in geographies of religion, the problematics of Muslim women still As I mentioned above, the most resonating theme dominates the debate. Most often, Islam is studied as concerning women’s experience with religion is a minor religion in the context of the dominantly sec- veiling. But women’s experience of religion doesn’t ularized Western Europe (Berghammer and Fliegen- belong only to public, but also to a private space. The schnee 2011; Dwyer 1999a,b), in Turkey (Gökarıksel contextual shift from the public to the private space 2009, 2012; Secor 2002, 2007) or in the Middle East in the geographies of religion could be considered as (Fenster 2007). Problems raised in these geograph- one of the most important contributions of feminist ic, social and cultural contexts justify such research approaches. However, these two spaces – public and themselves. Further, religious experience of Muslim private – should not be separated because religion is women is strongly tied with veiling as a spatial prac- crossing-over the borders of both spaces. Even though tice expressing their religious identity (e.g. Gökarıksel the everyday life of a person is more connected with 2009, 2012; Sauer 2009; Secor 2007; Dwyer 1999b). the private space (but should not be interchanged) Through the practice of veiling, a women’s embodied through activities such as housework, leisure time experience with religion could be studied at differ - or commuting, everydayness is not limited only to ent levels, as well as Muslim women’s contact with private or public space, nor the everyday religious public space. ‘Dress is important for understanding experience. In this part of the paper, I focus on every- gender, religion, and space because it is an embodied dayness as a concept crossing-over public and private practice through which religious ways of being are space and described as the quotidian, ordinary, rou- represented and enacted’ (Secor 2007: 153). Veiling tine or everyday (contrasting to special, exceptional) clearly expresses Muslim women’s identity on the activities of people and spaces where these activities outside. A veiled women’s interaction with space are located (Pinder 2009). I understand everyday life is, thus, a phenomenon whose analysis can enrich as activities through which people experience space research on religion and space, especially in the case around them. Thus, everydayness can involve every of secular and dissimilarly religious public space. activity of a person through which they live her/his On the contrary, one may argue that studying ide- life. The cultural turn switched the attention of geog- ologically non-conflicting relations between religion, raphy to such places and activities and how these are women and space is important for identification of experienced, shaped and transformed by people. possible problems of such an interaction. However, For geographies of religion, ‘the everyday is crit- for example, Christianity in secular or culturally Chris- ical because the boundaries between the secular tian space (such as for example in the West) is not an and the religious are constituted and maintained, as experience significantly appearing on the outflow of well as destabilized, transgressed and reformed, on human body. Laic Christianity does not show up in a daily basis through seemingly mundane practices’ appearance or clothing of a woman, which enables her (Gökarıksel 2012: 6). The geographies of religion to better blend with the majority in a public space. have already started turning their interest from ‘spe- The most common symbol of Christianity on woman’s cial’ places such as church or temple to lived religion body, a cross necklace, is not very noticeable and often (MacKian 2012; McGuire 2008; Hunt 2005; Kong even doesn’t express religiosity of its holder. A veil is 2001 etc.) and to everyday practice and manifesta- also a symbol of Christianity but is nowadays used tions of faith (or secularity) in everyday spaces (Klin- almost exclusively by Nuns. As unusual clothing of gorová and Gökarıksel 2018; Dwyer 2015; Olson et al. Christian women could be considered formal clothing 2013; Vincett et al. 2012; Gökarıksel 2009 etc.). worn by women on Sunday. Because Sunday is a day of The routine everyday religious practices of indi- a worship in many Christian churches, women consid- viduals are complex, dynamic and lived and, thus, can er Sunday as a ‘day spent with God’ (Klingorová 2016) be very different from practices of religious institu - and, therefore, wear more formal dress than weekdays. tions and organizations (McGuire 2008). One of the However, formally dressed Christian women on possible strategies for dealing with everydayness in their way to church or Nuns are not considered as the geographies of religion is to let the definition of members of a different culture in (for example) the everydayness be a subjective understanding of an West, which is not the case for veiled Muslim women. examined group and, therefore, to work with eve - It makes the subject of Christian women experience rydayness in a way which the actors subjectively less problem-related than Muslim women experience. describe it (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018). Anoth- But, in my point of view, there are other themes which er problem which the researcher should deal with is desire to be developed such as the difference between that research on experiencing religion in everyday life Catholic and Protestant women experience in relation and space could avoid places which are ‘special’ or to confession or celibacy, the experience of women extraordinary, both in the context of the everyday life priests, women’s role in the openness of Christian of a person and in a religious context, places such as churches to broader society (the case of maternity or pilgrimage sites, sacred mountains and other places parental centers) and many more. which are not visited on regular basis, but on special 128 Kamila Klingorová occasions and only once. However, visiting such plac- sacred’ space (Dwyer 2016; Gökarıksel 2009) because es can have an important influence on an individu - such places are more ‘lived’. For example, a library al’s experience of faith. The impression can even be with exposed religious symbols, a tree on the edge of projected into everyday experience and formation of a meadow (Klingorová and Vojtíšek 2018), a kitchen everyday places of religion. unit or even a bus stop (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018) could become a sacred place for an individual 3.3 Emotions and lived religion through her/his emotional religious experience. Emo- tional geographies thus allow us to develop research Everyday spatial experience with religion is strongly on religious space and place, it’s formation and trans- tied with the emotional and subjective experience of formation, considering everydayness and lived reli- individuals (Bartolini et al. 2017; Finlayson 2012; Nast gion (MacKian 2012; McGuire 2008; Hunt 2005). The and Pile 1998 etc.). Religion is an emotional experi- interest in religious emotions reflects the argument of ence and emotions play a key role in the formation of McGuire (2008) who says that it is important to study sacred place (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018). Thus, religion not in a way which is defined by institutions, individual and collective emotions should be consid- but in a way in which religion is lived in the everyday ered in religion-geographic research. It was the fem- life of people. Of course, one cannot say that religious inist approaches which started the emotional turn in experience is weaker in a church or a temple, but reli- social geography (Davidson, Bondi, and Smith 2005; gious experience in such ‘officially sacred’ places is Pringle 1999) highlighting that feelings and emo - more formed by religious symbolic, ritual and collec- tions are important for geographic research because tive experience (Finlayson 2017) and less personal. they form a way in which people perceive space and place (Davidson, Bondi, and Smith 2005). ‘Emotion- 3.4 Embodied experiences with religion al geographies emphasize how embodied emotions are connected to specific places and contexts because Finally, feminist approaches might contribute to the questions about how emotions are embodied and research on religion and place by bringing the focus located merit further elaboration in the context of onto embodied experiences. Embodiment has a broad typical and less typical everyday lives’ (Davidson, overlap with research on everydayness, emotions Bondi, and Smith 2005: 5). People assign meanings and women’s experiences. Every research on reli- to places through emotions which reflect their sub- gion works, necessarily, with embodied experiences such as baptism, marriage, confession, confirma- jective interpretation and perception (Sharp 2009). Thus, emotional geographies enrich research on per- tion, or funeral (Dewsbury and Cloke 2009). Regular ception of place and cultural geography in particular church visit is an (everyday) embodied experience because emotions are gained with cultural values and as well (Wigley 2016). Furthermore, a human’s body determined by the circumstances and concepts of a is an element in space on which religion can be visi- particular culture (Pringle 1999). bly manifested. Religious people use their bodies to Like other cultural patterns, religion forms the express their identity (Kong 2010) in, for example, emotions and perception of religious, but also non-re- wearing veils, skullcaps, cross necklaces, or vestment. ligious people. Even people who do not believe in God A human’s body outwardly reflects the individual’s or other concrete transcendental power consider identity, values, and morality and, thus, becomes an transcendence and energy in places of nature and a indicator of religiosity. Simultaneously, a human’s calm, pleasant environment where they can deeply body is an instrument through which people religious- think about life questions (Klingorová and Gökarık- ly experience space (Kong 2010; Gökarıksel 2009; sel 2018). Thus, religion contributes to the meaning Holloway 2006; Bailey, Harvey, and Brace 2007 etc.). Recently, the human body has gained more and of sacred and secular places as well. Emotions relat- ed to religion can be positive, but also negative. Posi- more attention in social geography (Bailey, Har- tive emotions prevail because religion usually brings vey, and Brace 2007; Rodaway 1994). Research on peace, calmness, happiness, usefulness, satisfaction, embodiment could be enriching for studying religion and answers to important questions into an individ- and space, especially when we consider the body as ual’s life (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018). Negative an active subject. The body plays an important role in emotions related to religion could be feelings of dis- the production of a sacred (and secular) place (Hollo- comfort, shame, vulnerability and fear connected with way 2003) and, simultaneously, is the most ‘private’ everyday experience of exclusion, religious intoler- and the most intensively experienced place in which ance, or even racism (Hopkins 2006, 2007). Such neg- religion manifests (or does not manifest). ative emotions often importantly influence an individ- Furthermore, a human body as a transcendence ual’s everyday time-space behavior when the person holder has the ability to bring sacrality into place tries to avoid places where her/his religious identity and to make sense of sacred space (Holloway 2003, 2006; Sheldrake 2001), which reflects the ideas of the is in the minority. As discussed above, people have the most strik- humanists Tuan or Buttimer (Kong 2001). According ing religious experiences in places beyond ‘officially to Eliade (1959), sacred place is created in secular Feminist approaches in the geographies of religion 129 (profane in Eliade’s words) space through sacred Hopkins, and Kwan 2007; Hopkins 2007) or major - experience. ity (Gökarıksel and Secor 2017a; Olson et al. 2013; Thus, sacred place is part of space which gains Hopkins et al. 2011; Gökarıksel and McLarney 2010) special (transcendental, sacred, religious) meaning or formation of behavior and everyday practices (e.g. through ritual or religious experience of a person Gökarıksel and Secor 2015, 2017a,b; Wigley 2016; or group of people (Sheldrake 2001) who have (and Holloway 2003). The empirical analysis should there- share) interest in such a place. Sacred place therefore fore acknowledge what is unique, specific and individ- does not have to involve any religious symbols, it only ual, such as the place, body or identity. Methods so far can be created, transformed, perceived, or experi- predominantly used in the geographies religion are enced with a presence of a body. Such places do not not able to achieve these goals, especially those which have to be identifiable at first sight. Thus, sacred place have quantitative character. Methodological approach could be identified by an individual in any, seemingly which consider all the personal nuances of religion is secular space and ‘the sacred is made and remade in needed, for which we can look for inspiration in the everyday spaces through the embodied and emotion- feminist geographical research. al practices of religiously affiliated and non-affiliated’ Even though the methods which are typical for people (women in this case, Klingorová and Gökarık- feminist geographies are hard to generalize, two sel 2018: 56). common characteristics are to be find: the feminist The current development in geographies of reli- research primarily works with qualitative partic- gion (e.g. Olson et al. 2013; Gökarıksel 2009; Hollo - ipative methods and analyze the problem in ordi- way 2003, 2006) includes the role of embodiment and nary, everyday spaces from a specific point of view emotions in production of sacred places (Finlayson of a concrete group of people. These strategies were 2012). It perceives the human body as ‘the primary partly adopted by the already existing scholarship site through which transcendence and its associated of ‘feminist’ geographies of religion. Also, the influ- religious authenticity can be achieved by bringing ence is obvious in comparison of preferred methods faith simultaneously outward and inward’ (Olson of the ‘old’ and the new geographies of religion. The et al. 2013: 1432). Further, research on embodied ‘old’ geography of religion worked prevailingly with experiencing religion supports the thesis that sacred descriptive quantitative methods (Rinschede 1999), and secular space are inseparable because religion, the research focused on macroregional, sociological through embodied experiencing, has the ability to and religionist analysis and methods were selected to get into every space of everyday life. Usually, the describe the diffusion of religion and its influence on human body is not limited to ‘officially sacred’ or oth- landscape. The new geographies of religion instead er spaces. The research on embodied experiences is, deal with local and personal specifics of the relation- thus, ‘a good starting point for challenging any site as ship between religion and space using behavioral being wholly sacred or wholly profane, emphasizing approaches. The most commonly, combined methods instead a relationship of spatial construction’ (Olson inspired in ethnography, anthropology and sociology et al. 2013: 1424) and transformation of space. Every are used, for example combination of semistructured sacred space should be understood in accordance interviews with participant observation (Gökarıksel with the person or people who created such place. 2009), discourse analysis (Gökarıksel 2007) or sta- The tension between the sacred and secular meaning tistical analysis (Besio 2007; more see at Gökarıksel of places exists at the material, symbolic, and ideolog- 2012; Fenster 2007), or participative photography ical level (Gökarıksel 2009; Howe 2009; Kong 2001) (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018; Klingorová and and ‘the duality of the sacred and secular breaks Vojtíšek 2018). down and their geographies appear more fluid and Generally, the most of researches which could be transformative’ (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018: included in ‘feminist’ geographies of religion apply 56). Thus, from the feminist perspective highlight- participative approaches engaging with (mostly) ing the role of human body, Eliade’s understanding women (Klingorová and Gökarıksel 2018; Klingorová of sacred and secular spaces as two different, sepa- and Vojtíšek 2018; Gökarıksel and Secor 2015; Olson rated and incompatible spheres could be considered et al. 2013; Dwyer 1999a,b; 2015, Hopkins 2006; as overcome because each person can perceive and Secor 2002). Participative research enables to enter experience the same place differently. private space of involved person, analyze her/his emotional experience in detail (Pain 2004; Breitbart 2003), reflect specific conditions and knowledge of 3.5 Methodological approach people, bring more authentic look (Noland 2006) and be more sensitive to minorities (Pain 2004). Further, The themes defined and discussed above have com- participative methods allow research participant to mon focus on problems of individual experience, decide alone which part (if ever) of private space is everydayness, emotions and body from the empiri - he/she willing to open for research. Also, participa- cal point of view. More attention is put on formation tive research minimalizes the hierarchical relations of personal identity of religious minority (Aitchison, between researcher and studied group and, thus, 130 Kamila Klingorová makes the discussion about sensitive themes such experiences and perception of religion and sacred as inequality, abuse or minority religion easier. Par- space, but, in particular, to encourage research on ticipants are allowed to define themselves how they religion in space at an everyday and personal level. understand research themes such as religion, spirit- Feminist geographies’ focus on personal everyday uality, everydayness, inequality, hierarchy etc. The experience can offer new insights into understand- research thus better reflects the real perception of a ing of the relation between religion and space. Fem- studied group. inist approaches also reflect general societal trends Furthermore, methods in the new geographies of in Czech society, which are connected with postmod- religions need to acknowledge secularity and secular ernism and theorized as postsecularism in the sphere space as well. Undoubtedly, lived religion and reli- of religious changes. In postsecular society, religion is gious experience of people should not be limited only no longer only about visiting church on Sunday, but into sacred space. Also, people who do not adhere any also about experiencing everyday moments through institutionalized religion often deal with personal religious ethics and informal spiritual practice. Reli- spirituality or individual religious experience which is gion as a personal emotional everyday experience hard to categorize or even describe by the participant of space is a key factor in production of the individ- itself. Thus, the perspective which reflects the indi- ual identity of a person. Not only people who adhere vidual though of a person and the local socio-cultural some traditional religion, but also those who do not characteristics of a concrete space and place must be declare institutional religiosity experience their own applied. These reasons lead again to the use of com- spirituality. And the context of the mostly secularized bined and participative methods, acknowledging the space of Czechia highlights the individual dimension spatial aspect. of religion which could be included within geogra - However, other methodological approaches such phies of religion using feminist approaches. as descriptive or quantitative methods are to be con- Further, the discussion above led to assumption sidered as complementary or even the only suitable that religious experience with space reflects broad- methods in many cases. Quantitative methods allow er socio-cultural issues because religion importantly to acknowledge the general context and gain com- shapes individual’s relation to the world through its parative view. Thus, the extensive research should norms and traditions. The everyday context of reli- be enriched with intensive research (and vice ver- gious experiences is instructive to examine public sa) which allows to move the research from general issues (Dunn 2005) such as culture, politics, econom- to personal context and from public to private space ics, integration, gender relations etc. For example, the where the religion of subjective experience, prevailing currently topical problematic of migration and cultur- in the postsecular society, acts the most. al integration could be approached trough the indi- vidual geographies of religion of actors. Therefore, understanding the contexts through which people 4. Conclusion of different religion individually perceive, construct and transform sacred spaces of everyday is important The longstanding development which feminist geog- not only to the geographies of religion but also to the raphies have undergone from the Geography of wom- (new) cultural and social geography as whole. en through the Geography of gender relations to the Feminist geographies of difference (Pratt 2009) ended up with the main focus on the construction of identi- Acknowledgements ties of different people and emphasizing the plurality of experiences of people. 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