Movement plays a crucial role for the constitution of both space and subjectivity. Accordingly, space, subjectivity, movement and mobility are best understood as interdependent categories. In many contemporary London novels the characters’ location, their movements and their sensual experience of the city have concrete bearing on the characters’ actions in allowing and restricting movement, perception, and personal relations. At the same time, as the spatial structure of a text is closely connected to more general cultural models of space, spatial relations (e.g. centre/periphery, vertical/horizontal) often serve the representation of non-spatial relations (e.g. class, gender, or ethnic differences and their various intersections). This article argues that adapting relational and dynamic concepts of space for the analysis of literary spaces can reveal how spatial practices in literature contribute to the construction of cultural differences and similarities.
Religion is a hot topic on the public stages of ‘secular’ societies, not in its individualized liberal or orthodox form, but rather as a public statement, challenging the divide between the secular neutral space and the religious. In this new challenging modus, religion raises questions about identity, power, rationality, subjectivity, law and safety, but above all: religion questions, contests and even blurs the borders between the public and the private. These phenomena urge to rethink what are often considered to be clear differences between religions, between the public and the private and between the religious and the secular. In this volume scholars from a range of different disciplines map the different aspects of the dynamics of changing, contesting and contested religious identities.