Introduction: Materialities, histories, and the spatialization of state sovereignty

Valentina Napolitano, Nimrod Luz, Nurit Stadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalReligion and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Berghahn Books.


  • Borderlands
  • Iconography
  • Israel-palestine
  • Materiality
  • Militarization
  • Religion
  • Sovereignty
  • US-Mexico


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