Locative Encounters

Authored by: John C. Lyden

The Routledge Companion to Religion and Popular Culture

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415638661
eBook ISBN: 9781315724478
Adobe ISBN: 9781317531067


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There is an aspect of the physical that goes beyond the material aspect of the relationship between religion and popular culture: namely, the encounter of the two in defined space, at a definite (if not always defined) time. What we see in these “locative” encounters, however, is more than just a specific location that houses the encounter, but—for each of the contributors to this section—the deconstruction, reconceptualization, and reconstruction of what both “religion” and “popular culture” mean as a result of the encounter. None of the following chapters examines anything approximating a tradition-based religious location; from the shopping mall to the National Mall, from an electronic dance music event to a sports spectacular, these chapters examine how collective and individual experience of space is integral to the collective and individual construction of place. In other words, the physical space takes on meaning beyond the component parts, beyond (but not absent) an elite narrative. It is in this way that these locations focus our attention on the relationship between religion and popular culture; aspects of individual investment are affirmed in religion-like fashion.

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