Space, Place, and Religious Landscapes: Living Mountains

Gunzburg, Darrelyn, and Bernadette Brady, eds. Space, Place, and Religious Landscapes: Living Mountains. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020 (forthcoming).


Exploring sacred mountains around the world, this book examines whether bonding and reverence to a mountain is intrinsic to the mountain, constructed by people, or a mutual encounter. Chapters explore mountains in England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, Ireland, the Himalaya, Japan, Greece, USA, Asia and the Andes, and embrace the union of sky, landscape and people to examine the religious dynamics between human and non-human entities. 

This book takes as its starting point the fact that mountains physically mediate between land and sky and act as metaphors for bridges from one realm to another, recognising that mountains are relational and that landscapes form personal and group cosmologies. The book fuses ideas of space, place and material religion with cultural environmentalism and takes an interconnected approach to material religio-landscapes. In this way it fills the gap between lived religious traditions, personal reflection, phenomenology, historical context, environmental philosophy, myths and performativity. 

In defining material religion as active engagement with mountain-forming and human- shaping landscapes, the research and ideas presented here provide theories that are widely applicable to other forms of material religion. 

"An unusually interesting collection of essays on mountains and the human, moral and religious imagination."
Bron Taylor, University of Florida


‘This book is a unique transdisciplinary contribution that, like a mountain itself, stands at the intersection of heaven and earth, of myth and ritual, of people and the world around them. By drawing attention to these themes across different spatial, temporal and cultural brackets, the infinitely citable essays contained within highlight the significant role, meaning and agency afforded by the iconic landforms.’ 
Fabio Silva, Lecturer in Archaeological Modelling, Bournemouth University, UK

‘An unusually interesting collection of essays on mountains and the human, moral and religious imagination.’ 
Bron Taylor, University of Florida, USA, author of Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future (2012) and editor of The Encyclopaedia of Religion and Nature (Bloomsbury, 2005).

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