Introduction

Materialities, Histories, and the Spatialization of State Sovereignty

in Religion and Society
Author:
Valentina Napolitano University of Toronto v.napolitano@utoronto.ca

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Nimrod Luz Western Galilee College luznimrod@gmail.com

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Nurit Stadler Hebrew University of Jerusalem nurit.stadler@mail.huji.ac.il

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In the introduction to this special section of Religion and Society, we discuss existing and potentially new intersections of border theories and religious studies in relation to two contested regions—US-Mexico and Israel-Palestine (as part of the history of the Levant)—respectively. We argue for a recentering of borderland studies through an analysis of political theologies, affective labor, and differing configurations of religious heritage, traces, and materiality. We thus define 'borderlands' as translocal phenomena that emerge due to situated political/economic and affective junctures and that amplify not only translocal but also transnational prisms. To explore these issues, we put into dialogue studies on religion, borderlands, walls, and historical/contemporary conditions in the context of US-Mexico and Israel-Palestine borders. In particular, we argue for recentering analyses in light of intensifications of state control and growing militarization in contested areas.

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