The small stuff of barely spiritual practices

Philo, C. , Lea, J. and Cadman, L. (2018) The small stuff of barely spiritual practices. In: Bartolini, N., MacKian, S. and Pile, S. (eds.) Spaces of Spirituality. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), pp. 135-154. ISBN 978131539841

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


The spiritual sector is growing in economic, social and cultural significance in the UK. Particularly significant are those practices grouped under the term ‘New Age’ or ‘spiritualities of life’, such as yoga, massage, reiki and meditation (Sointu 2006). At the same time as the sector is growing, the practices that constitute it are changing (Carette and King 2004) and new geographies of spiritualities are emerging. This chapter draws on a wider research project that attempted to trace the formation of some elements of these new geographies on the ground, taking Brighton and Hove (a south coast UK city, home to many spiritual practitioners) as a case study for the emergence of an ‘everyday urban spiritual’ landscape. The broader project asked how far, and in what ways, the spiritual comes to matter both in explicitly spiritual spaces (e.g. Buddhist centres, Natural Heath centres), and also across the kinds of mundane spaces of everyday life that are often seen as resolutely non-spiritual, notably workplaces and homes. The chapter draws on extracts from diaries completed by research participants which offer an understanding of spiritual practices (here chiefly yoga) as constituted by the broader contexts within which they are pursued. In enabling us to develop an understanding of how such spiritual practices relate to other aspects of people’s lives, the chapter contributes to wider debates emerging in response to the growth and proliferation of the spiritual sector, as well as to the small body of geographical work on spiritualities (e.g. Bartolini et al. 2013, 2017; Conneely 2003; Holloway 1998, 2000, 2003, 2011; MacKian 2011, 2012).

Item Type:Book Sections
Additional Information:eBook ISBN: 9781315398419.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Philo, Professor Christopher
Authors: Philo, C., Lea, J., and Cadman, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Publisher:Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record