Spiritual homes on the move: narratives of migrations from Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries

Sergei Shubin* (Corresponding Author), Marjory Harper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the process of the creation of home as a constellation of faith and migration. Building on discussions in geography and anthropology describing home as being in-between mobile and fixed, a hybrid entity-in-construction, the paper challenges the antimonies between place-based or placeless, real or imagined homes common in migration research. Building on the analysis of historical narratives of 18th- and 19th-century migration from Scotland, it highlights the ways in which migrants were involved in the construction and performance of homes through faith and movement. It draws on the work of Deleuze and Guattari to explore not only the material, imagined and relational nature of spiritual homes, but also attends to performative acts of faith, affective dimensions and openness to the otherworldly being. Using the concepts of multiplicity, affect and the collective, it considers spirituality as a part of the fluidity of homes and an uncertain movement between them. It explores fusion and heterogeneity of spiritual attachments and connections that bring unexpected actors together in more or less intensive states of spiritual co-belonging ‘at home’. The paper concludes with conceptual reflections about spiritual homes as dispossession and exposure in an impossible relation with the foreign and otherworldly in migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1154
Number of pages20
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number8
Early online date30 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank colleagues from the Christianity and History Forum for Scotland for their helpful early feedback on the paper. We are grateful to Paul Cloke and Marcus Doel for their insightful comments, and to Steph Cornford for map-making advice. Thank you also to three anonymous reviewers whose advice helped improve the article


  • deleuze
  • history
  • home
  • Migration
  • scotland
  • spirituality


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