Toward a New Hermeneutics of Space: Remapping the Religious and the Carceral in the American Imagination

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Toward a New Hermeneutics of Space: Remapping the Religious and the Carceral in the American Imagination

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Title: Toward a New Hermeneutics of Space: Remapping the Religious and the Carceral in the American Imagination
Author: Goddard, Maggie
Advisor: Heckart, Jennifer
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Religion
Department: CPGC: Conference/ Workshops
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: Religion is often predicated on a central division between the sacred and the profane. However, this traditional conception excludes the possibility of overlaps between these two categories. By introducing the notion of human space, a theory reflective of our lived experiences and dynamic interactions with our environments, we can complicate this conceptualization of religious space. By extending this theoretical framework, we can similarly approach the issue of carceral space--also traditionally defined by a dichotomous conception of the inside and the outside of prisons. In order to dismantle this division and render the problem of mass incarceration relevant to a broader public, we must locate points of permeability in this spatial account. The historical example of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia illustrates an alternative penal philosophy that incorporates skylights and the Quaker belief in inner light to resist and question traditional dichotomous conceptions of carceral space. By extending the metaphorical and theoretical example of light, we can begin to imagine illuminating alternatives to polarized spaces and remap the religious and the carceral in the American imagination.
Subject: Imprisonment -- Religious aspects -- Society of Friends
Subject: Imprisonment -- Social aspects -- United States
Subject: Eastern State Penitentiary of Pennsylvania -- History
Subject: Inner Light
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/7478

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Goddard, Maggie. "Toward a New Hermeneutics of Space: Remapping the Religious and the Carceral in the American Imagination". 2011. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/7478.

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