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    Leisure, Religion and the (Infra)Secular City: The Manchester and Salford Whit Walks

    Platt, Louise ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9063-1110, Abushena, Rebecca and Snape, Robert (2021) Leisure, Religion and the (Infra)Secular City: The Manchester and Salford Whit Walks. Leisure Studies, 40 (6). pp. 826-836. ISSN 0261-4367

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    Drawing on the Manchester and Salford Whit Walks, a Church of England Whitsuntide procession, this research adopts della Dora’s concept of the infrasecular to interpret the interstitiality of the religious or civic nature of leisure experiences in the urban context. Processional walking at Whitsuntide originated as a pre-industrial custom that was simultaneously a religious and a leisure practice. However, with the decline of religion the meanings the Whit Walks have changed in a number of dimensions. Using the lens of infrasecular geography, this research explored the ways in which these Walks have remade sacred space in the secular city through an historical account of their evolution, interviews with participants and observation. The research re-emphasises the continuing importance of custom to contemporary leisure practice and through the infrasecular lens enables new insights into the dynamics of the historical spaces of leisure practice. The study concludes that religion remains an important influence on leisure and that the concept of the infrasecular merits further investigation in leisure practices.

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