2006 年 79 巻 5 号 p. 251-263
In recent geographical studies of religion, essentialist and constructionist positions have coexisted, and dissension between them has grown. In addition, each approach contains inherent problems; essentialist geographers have tended to reify religion and religious spaces, and constructionist geographers have tended to insufficiently analyze how the religious spaces produced by social groups influence those groups. In this paper, I clarify trends of geographical studies of religion written by English-speaking and Japanese researchers and their problems based on such a dual perspective, and suggest a direction in order to improve them. First, I analyze theoretical trends in geographical studies of religion dividing between essentialism and constructionism, and make each problem clear. After that, I review some approaches which seek other positions in geographical studies of religion paying attention to mutual relationship between structure and agency or spaces and individuals. Finally, I suggest the way to bridge the gap between essentialist and constructionist and to improve their problems. It is, in short, exploration of both mutual relationships between spaces and social groups concerning religion, and their geographical characteristics.