by Emily, Maddie, Jacquie, Travis, and Cy
If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Things happen to people and places. Life is contingent upon these principles. Each of these projects shows how the theme of life course is universally applicable. Our life course project used this theme to examine five diverse oral histories, showing the fluidity of people’s identities. The place project shows how specific places impact individuals’ life histories while the southern hospitality project shows how place works on a larger scale, impacting regions and the people who live there. The relationality project shows how connections — whether they be between religions, people, or places — can drastically affect one’s life. Finally, the big R little r project suggests that movement is an important consideration when addressing life course as moving can change the context in which one lives out their beliefs.
In general, life course suggests that both internal and external factors impact one’s experience and likewise, their religious identity. This website uses the lenses of geography and religion to analyze oral histories, using places and spaces to understand how religion is manifest in the world. So if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? We say yes, but it sounds different to different people in different places depending on their life courses.