The editors and contributors to this volume have focused the lense of geography on new territory as they inquire critically into the spatial dimensions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, making this interdisciplinary project truly a new idea in the study of comparative religion and human geography. Editors Jamie Scott and Paul Simpson-Housley have organized the study into three broad areas of inquiry and have coined the term "Geographics" to encompass the three distinct yet interrelated spatial dimensions implicated in the study of religion. The first area concerns the literal role played by specific sites, regions, or geographical phenomena in the development of the three religions. The focus here is on city, wilderness, river valley, and mountain as well as flood, earthquake, whirlwind, and famine with attention devoted to methodological, epistemological, and ontological issues. The symbolic or interpreted role played by these same specific entities in the three religions is the second notion to be explored.The third focus is an inquiry into the geography of prophetic and apocalyptic visions and the role of geographical imagination in the development of religious self-understanding. This interface of natural and historical geography with the geography of the prophetic and apocalyptic imagination produces a graphic, sometimes terrifying landscape. The volume's nine essayists have approached their chapters with this threefold schematization in mind so that the book consists of one study devoted to each of these dimensions in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as an introduction and afterword by the editors. Each essay discusses the relationship of the spatial and the sacred in scripture and in subsequent literary and theological reflection upon scriptural themes. The range of topics and variety of approached used reflect the interpretative ambiguities that stem from the unique social, political and economic functions conferred on places and spaces of particluar significance in the life and thought of a religious tradition or community. The section of Judaism explores Jewish agricultural settlements in Palestine; the Temple Mount "al-haram al-sharif" and the Garden of Eden.In depth looks at Finland, women's geography, and the apocalyptic world comprise the section on Christianity. Iranian feasting and pilgrimage circuits, modern Egypt, and sacred geography are assessed in the final section on Islam. This carefully edited, innovative study offers a unique approach to the study of religion and will be read profitably by scholars and students of religion and geography.
Sacred Places and Profane Spaces by Jamie S. Scott; Paul Simpson-Housley was published by ABC-CLIO in September 1991. The ISBN for Sacred Places and Profane Spaces is 9780313263293.