HOMInG’s Barbara Bertolani, Sara Bonfanti and Paolo Boccagni have just published an article in Religion, namely At home in the gurdwara? Religious space and the resonance with domesticity in a London suburb. The authors advance an ethnographically informed understanding of home, as both a metaphor and a lived experience, which illuminates day-to-day religious and convivial practices of worship houses like Sikh gurdwaras. The paper draws on the extended fieldwork of the HOMInG team in Southall, West London.
See the abstract below.
Barbara Bertolani, Sara Bonfanti & Paolo Boccagni (2021) At home in the gurdwara? Religious space and the resonance with domesticity in a London suburb, Religion, DOI: 10.1080/0048721X.2021.1916787
‘Home’, as a special place and a set of practices that separate it from the rest, may ‘scale up’ to the public sphere, particularly among immigrant and religious minorities. Following this insight, we investigate the functional equivalences between domestic space and public, religious one, based on a case study of Sikh gurdwaras in Southall, West London. Besides their everyday function as hubs for spiritual and cultural connections with the Sikh home(land), gurdwaras reveal a parallelism with a private home in two respects: vertical domesticity – the forms of spatial and temporal thresholding that turn a house of worship into the home of the guru – and horizontal domesticity – the home-like routines underpinning community life in gurdwaras. This opens up a novel space to see temples as infrastructures for people’s sense of home, and the reproduction of sacredness inside them as a form of homemaking.