The spaces and places of Czech believers

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Abstract

Geographical aspects of contemporary Czech religiosity are discussed in this paper. The main objective is to understand and approximate the spaces and places of faith which Czech believers inhabit, construct and reconstruct. An original focus on young believers was broadened to include priests, preachers and older members of several churches in Brno city, and the Přerov and Ústí nad Labem regions. Concepts of space and place, sacred spaces, and the imagery of post-mortem spaces are treated within the context of so-called secularisation and related phenomena. The methodology is based on an inductive qualitative approach using the Grounded Theory of Strauss and Corbin. The data are presented, discussed and ordered following the main themes originating from the research, including: (i) spaces of regular activities (related to the faith); (ii) spaces of dissemination and evangelisation of the faith; (iii) personal places linked with faith; and (iv) an introduction to the imagery of post-mortem spaces. The results document a long-term shift in the attitudes of believers, the change from rather public spaces of community gathering to personal places, influenced by specific secularisation tendencies. Also, the results represent the typical places of faith which are constructed and reconstructed by current Czech believers, and the current imagery of post-mortem spaces.

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