Spatialising Practices: Theory, Text, Practice Towards a Redescriptive Companion to Graeco-Roman Antiquity – A Response

In: Religion and Theology
Gerhard van den Heever Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa P. O. Box 392, 0003 UNISA Republic of South Africa

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This paper is a response to the Spatialising Practices panel that was organised under the auspices of the Greco-Roman Religions Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, November 2012. In the paper I respond to three foci represented in the presentations, namely spatiality theory, narrative space, and spatial practices. Overall the argument is made that conceptions of space arose already earlier in the 20th century with the rise of phenomenology, but that spatiality theories proper were epiphenomena of the emergence of cultural studies since the middle of the 20th century. It is argued that space is not so much an object of study and description but rather that space is a tool of analysis. Moreover, the essentially activist and political character of spatiality theory should continue to infuse studies of religion and space.

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