Religion and the Performance of Space

This interdisciplinary seminar explores categories, interpretations, and strategic articulations of space in a range of religious traditions. In conversation with the work of major theorists of space, this seminar examines spatial practices of religion in the United States during the modern era, including the conception, construction, and enactment of religious spaces. It is structured around theoretical issues, including historical deployments of secularity as a framing mechanism, ideas about space and place, geography and gender, and relations between property and spirituality. Examples of case studies treated in class include the enactment of rituals within museums, the marking of religious boundaries such as the Jewish “eruv,” and the assignment of “spiritual” ownership in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The seminar coordinates with several campus events, including research group presentations and an exhibition of work by Thomas Wilfred at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Taught Spring 2017 by:
Sally Promey and Margaret Olin
PH Area: 
PH Person Reference: 
Sally Promey
Course Number: 
HSAR 730, AMST 692, JDST 799, RLST 788