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Cathedrals of the surf zone: regulating access to a space of spirituality

Anderson, Jonathan Mark ORCID: 2013. Cathedrals of the surf zone: regulating access to a space of spirituality. Social & Cultural Geography 14 (8) , pp. 954-972. 10.1080/14649365.2013.845903

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This paper explores the place of the surfed wave as not simply a site of human–nature relations, but also as a space of spirituality. Surfing is widely considered as a sport of hedonism and risk, but this paper suggests it can also be understood as a means to experience the transcendent. By first introducing the surf zone as a space of liminality and transformation, this paper illustrates how the surfed wave is a cathedral for surfers' ‘aquatic nature religion’ (Taylor, B. (2007a) Focus introduction. Aquatic nature religion. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 75 (4): 863–874; Taylor, B. (2007b) Surfing into spirituality and a new, aquatic nature religion. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 75 (4): 923–951). Due to the religious nature of the surfed wave, the paper suggests that the informal (b)orders surfers use to regulate the surf zone—understood here as the codes of surfer-provenance and surfer-positioning—do not simply regulate access to the surf zone in a territorial sense, but also they effectively regulate access to the experience of relational spirituality.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: surfing; place; spirituality; religion; regulation; emotion
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1464-9365
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:32

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