Special Issue "Non-sacred Spaces for Religious Practices and Spirituality"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2022 | Viewed by 513

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Krzysztof Nawratek
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
Interests: spatialized post-secular thought; non-dialectic modes of thinking; radical contextualization; radical inclusivity; religion-related behaviours in space; decolonization of urban and architectural discourses
Dr. Asma Mehan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal
Interests: public/private space; urban inclusivity/exclusivity; decolonizing the architectural knowledge; urban anthropology and sociology
Dr. Aaron French
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Philosophische Fakultät, Universität Erfurt, 99089 Erfurt, Germany
Interests: history of esotericism; the history and philosophy of science; sacred space and architecture; modern German philosophy; science and technology studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Religions aims to re-think and re-contextualise the notion of sacred space, questioning both phenomenological (Eliade) and constructivist (Knott) approaches. With this in mind, this issue hopes to study, analyse and map different intellectual and religious perspectives concerning the spatiality of religious practice and the notion of the sacred space itself.

Furthermore, this Special Issue intends to provide a dialectical space to foster intellectual exchange and cross-fertilisation among architecture, the built environment and religious studies. Our focus will shift attention to less-known and marginalized religious traditions utilizing the insights of spatial and religious studies and drawing on the extensive academic literature of religious studies, cultural geography, urban anthropology, architecture and urban sociology, as well as that of the broader humanities, including the social and political sciences.

The goal of the Special Issue is to resituate the now largely discarded historiographical concept of sacred space within the context of an apparently secular, rationalized, pluralistic and globalized modern world and to ask “How does this concept—or does it—remain generative and how has it been reimagined, repurposed, and reinscribed with new and surprising meanings in order to fit the changing historical situation?” To achieve this, our focus is intentionally interdisciplinary, bringing together different discourses and specialists to go beyond traditional academic disciplinary aggregations. Such an approach was devised with the intent of evolving our understanding of the concept of sacred space outside of phenomenological and constructivist lenses, in hopes of germinating fresh interpretations on the type of space that is and has been referred to as “sacred” in the present and past.

The issue will supplement the already existing reorientation in religious studies that has been ongoing for the last three decades, namely, material and spatial turns, which seek to interpret religious phenomena outside the traditional categories of dogma, belief and ritual practice, focusing instead on configurations of space and relations, how religions ideas are lived out in a concrete way and how they are instantiated materially and socially.  As an interdisciplinary issue, we hope this collection of research will also contribute to building bridges between academic disciplines, will the aim of reinvigorating dialogue between religious studies and built-environment-related disciplines.

Dr. Krzysztof Nawratek
Dr. Asma Mehan
Dr. Aaron French
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sacred space
  • religious studies
  • spatial reflections
  • modernity
  • post secularism

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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