The Spatial Production of a Country Church


  • Roland Boer Monash University




Spatial analysis, Henri Lefebvre, country churches, church conflict


This article makes use of Henri Lefebvre's highly influential threefold distinction of space to interpret the spatial dynamics of the Uniting (formerly Methodist) church of Dungog in the Hunter Valley foothills. Lefebvre ditsinguished between spatial practice (perceived space), representations of space (overtly conceived space) and spaces of representation (covertly lived space). The study proceeds to analyse the journey to and arrival in Dungog in terms of spatial practice. Then it explores the interactions between the other two types of space in the relations between, on the one hand, the Uniting and Presbyterian churches and, on the other hand, within the former Wesleyan Church itself. Apart from noting how the relations of space change when the item of analysis shifts (as one would expect with Lefebvre's dialectical approach), the study also presents a neglected way of analysing the religious dynamics of a country town.

Author Biography

Roland Boer, Monash University

Apart from travelling by ships and cycling as far as he can, Roland Boer writes in the areas of biblical studies, theology, political philosophy, social theory, cultural studies and historical studies. He has written 12 books and over 120 articles.


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How to Cite

Boer, R. (2010). Dungog: The Spatial Production of a Country Church. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 23(1), 29–45. https://doi.org/10.1558/arsr.v23i1.29