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© 2018, The Author(s) 2018. This article provides a multi-scaled, grounded understanding of how secularization and re-sacralization occur simultaneously in a context of rapid modernization. Recent geographical scholarships in the geography of religion have exhibited deficient reflection over the geo-historical contingencies and complexities of secularization and secularity. This article seeks to re-conceptualize secularization as a multi-scaled, grounded and self-reflective process through an empirical research of the hybrid, contradictory processes of secularization and postsecular religious revival in a ‘gospel village’ in Shenzhen, China. In this rapidly urbanizing village, Christian belief inherited from Western missionary work has gradually lost its hold amidst modernization and urbanization. However, the inflow of rural migrant workers has re-invigorated the church. Christianity has created possibilities for postsecular ethics and resistances, enabling migrant workers to materially, symbolically and emotionally settle in a new socio-economic environment. Also, new situated religiosities arise as theological interpretations are used to negotiate and even legitimize social inequalities and alienation. This article therefore argues that the postsecular turn in human geography needs to consider how the postsecular articulates, and co-evolves with, secular conditions of being in the world. It highlights the hybrid and contested nature of the secularization process, which gives rise not only to disengaged belief and immanent consciousness but also to new aspirations for, and formations of, religiosities.
Author(s): Gao Q, Qian J, Yuan Z
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Cultural Geographies
Print publication date: 01/10/2018
Online publication date: 14/03/2018
Acceptance date: 02/04/2016
ISSN (print): 1474-4740
ISSN (electronic): 1477-0881
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
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