Experience of liminality

Experiences of liminality can be related to three different types of subject:

1) single individuals

2) social groups (like cohorts, minorities)

3) whole societies, entire populations, maybe even “civilizations”

The temporal dimension of liminality can relate to:

1) moments (sudden events)

2) periods (weeks, months, or possibly years)

3) epochs (decades, generations, maybe even centuries)16

The spatial dimension of liminality can relate to:

1) specific places, thresholds (a doorway in a house, a line that separates holy

from sacred in a ritual, specific objects, in-between items in a classification

scheme, parts/openings of the human body)

2) areas or zones (border areas between nations, monasteries, prisons, sea resorts,


3) “countries” or larger regions, continents (meso-potamia, medi-terranean;

Ancient Palestine, in between Mesopotamia and Egypt; Ionia in Ancient Greece, in between the Near East and Europe).

The different dimensions within the above three areas can function together in a variety of combinations. Singling out type of subject and the temporal dimension, this model can be suggested:

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