Betwixt and Between Liminality and Marginality: Mind the Gap offers an interdisciplinary thinking on “the marginal” within society. Using the framework of Victor Turner’s earlier notions of liminality, the book both challenges Turner’s symbolic anthropology, and celebrates its continued influence across disciplines, and under new theoretical constraints.
Liminality in its simplest forms provides language for meaningful approaches to articulate transition and change. It also represents complex social theories beyond Turner’s classical symbolic approach. While demonstrating the enduring relevance of Turner’s language for expressing transition, this volume keeps an eye toward the validity of critiques against him. It thus theorizes with Turner’s work while updating, even abandoning, some of his primary ideas, when applying it to contemporary social issues.
A central focus of this volume is marginality. Turner recognized that marginals, like liminars, are betwixt and between; however, they lack assurance that their ambiguity will be resolved. This volume explores the dialogic relationship of space and agency, to recognize marginal groups and people, and inquire, without a harmonious resolution, what happens to the marginals? Have race, class, gender, and sexual orientation become the space for thinking about reintegration and communitas? Each chapter examines how marginal groups, or liminal spaces and ideas, destabilize, shape, and affect the dominant culture.
Zohar Hadromi-Allouche is assistant professor in Classical Islamic Religious Thought and Dialogue in Trinity College Dublin.
Michael Hubbard MacKay is associate professor of religion at Brigham Young University.
Introduction: Mind the Gap: Betwixt and between Liminality and Marginality
Zohar Hadromi-Allouche and Michael Hubbard MacKay
Section One: Liminality Without: Marginalized Communities
Chapter One: Layers of Liminality and Marginality in the African Hebrew Israelite Community
Michael T. Miller
Chapter Two: Liberating Liminality in the Contemporary Church of Algeria
Chapter Three: “Neither here nor there”: Border-crossing and liminal states in Rose Tremain’s The Road Home
Maria Antonietta Struzziero
Section Two: Liminality Within: Group Interaction Within the Liminal Space
Chapter Four: Liminal Space and Liminal Place: The Medieval Church Porch
Chapter Five: Hammering in-between: Liminality and Contingency in Artisanal Practice, Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacán, Mexico
Michele Avis Feder-Nadoff
Chapter Six: Liminality in Time: The Taipei Dance Circle as a Process
Chapter Seven: Mormon Polygamy: Liminal or Normative?
Michael Hubbard MacKay
Section Three: Within and Without: Liminality and Dialogue
Chapter Eight: Liminal Dialogue: Solomon Ibn Verga’s Tale of Ephraim Ibn Sanjo and Kind Pedro I of Aragon
Chapter Nine: Intermediality: Performing the Liminal in the Dance Work Falling
Section Four: Liminality as an Agent of Change
Chapter Ten: The Pedagogics of Liminality: Ivan Illich and the Critique of Institutional Ritualization
José R. Irizarry
Chapter Eleven: Agents of Conversion: Agency of Women in Early Islam
Keren Abbou Hershkovits
Chapter Twelve: Wife and leader: Khadījah as a first follower
About the Contributors
Taking liminality as ‘the gap between worlds’ this fascinating edited collection brings new life to the concept. Building on the understanding of liminality first explored by Arnold van Gennep and later developed by Victor Turner, this book provides exciting insights into the practice and meaning of liminality in a variety of contexts. The thirteen chapters are based on solid, original multi- and interdisciplinary research in several different fields of enquiry ranging from religious communities, dance, arts and crafts to church porches. The book not only acknowledges the founding work of van Gennep and Turner, but through the fresh insights offered bring challenging questions to the fore that serve to develop the concept of liminality. In so doing, this book, a valuable resource for all scholars interested in the betwixt and between, shows the on-going value of thinking with and through the liminal.
Liminality and marginality are two of the most crucial concepts in the social sciences and humanities. But how do they relate to each other? How can we think of the liminal and marginal – together, apart or in juxtaposition? This volume opens up for those crucial questions via a series of fascinating case studies and conceptual discussions, cutting across space and time. Recommended!