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Title: Religion and identity : an inquiry into community, property and place in the constitution of identity politics with particular attention to Israel/Palestine
Author: Bowman, Glenn
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract: the eight essays that I am submitting for a PhD by publication represent a small but theoretically and methodologically coherent sample of the work I have published in English and in translation during the period of my employment at the University of Kent. The field studied is for the most part that of religious identity, practice and ideology, particularly as it pertains to the sacralisation and celebration of sacred places in Jerusalem, West Bank Palestine, and -- for comparison -- Macedonia (FYROM), in both the historic and recent past. The work is thematically unified by my investigation of the ways in which individuals and communities brought together in and around holy sites engage with each other, or struggle to prevent engagement. As such it variously looks into how localities produce community, the ways claims of possession and property produce boundaries which may demand to be protected against others, and the ways such markings of place can, in some contexts, produce exclusivising antagonisms while, in others, facilitate the 'sharing' of sites and the 'mixing' of communities. While the work has been produced under the aegis of. the discipline of Social Anthropology, it is deeply attentive to the historical shaping of identities, ideologies and practices. This, whether as cause or effect, is linked to my awareness of both the social and cultural constructedness of identities and the role of contingency in processes of self and community making. Religious identities are often deeply implicated in wider political struggles, and I have included a contextualising piece examining changing inter-communal relations within one town which includes a significant shared sacred site and which serves as a catchment area for others -- in order to locate shrine attendees within a wider social field. Throughout the work included in this PhD submission I demonstrate that nominally arcane studies of sacred sites and pilgrim practices provide salient critiques of taken for granted discourses on 'human nature', 'clashing civilisations' and the essentialist like. These topics will be discussed in the following reflexive essay which attempts to assess the coherence, contribution and impact of the works included in this submission as well as, where appropriate, their connections with wider debates in anthropology and political science.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available