Geography has always been interested in religion, but since Lilly Kong’s (1990, 2001, 2010) three review articles assessing the contemporary condition of, and potential future directions for, the geography of religion, there has been an explosion in geographical analysis of contemporary religion. These studies have expanded the definition of ‘religion’ and developed various new methods to engage with an ever-increasing range of collective and individual spiritual practices and experiences within and beyond religious institutions (Della Dora, 2015).

However, despite the current vibrancy of geographical research into religion, historical geographical studies of religion have been noticeably absent. There are some notable exceptions (Bailey et al., 2006 & 2007; Brace et al., 2011; Della Dora, 2016), but there are only a handful of recent articles discussing religious topics in The Journal of Historical Geography. Furthermore, while some geographers primarily interested in contemporary religious practices have discussed religion and spirituality in a historical context, these explorations have often focused on expanding comparable issues identified in their contemporary research (Holloway, 2006 & 2015) or have been undertaken to provide context for their contemporary discussions (Gilbert et. al, 2015). Therefore, there are few historical geography studies that have contributed to the quickly developing field of the geography of religion.

In light of these observations, paper submissions are encouraged for this session that use specific case studies to discuss the role of historical geography research within developing geography of religion research. It is hoped that by bringing together papers that consider different historical geography approaches to religion this session will facilitate discussions about: why historical geography has been conspicuously absent from recent developments in the geography of religion; the problems that increasing interest in individuals’ experience of spirituality poses historical geographers; and how the historical geography of religion could not only make more contributions to current geographical research into religion, but could also use the particularities of historical research to extend and critically develop this field of research.

Submissions from graduate students, early career scholars and those in established posts are all welcome. Please contact ruth.slatter.13[at] for further information.

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to ruth.slatter.13[at] by 10th October 2017. In a separate paragraph, please provide details of any special audio-visual requirements or mobility requirements.  A decision on the papers to be submitted for consideration by the convenors of the International Historical Geography Conference 2018 will be made on the 14th October 2017. For further details about the International Historical Geography Conference 2018.