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by Casey Lunceford, James Tan, Josey Parker, Kelsey Kirby, William Pryor

Geographies of Religion is a complex sub-genre of Geography that has gained prominence in recent years. In the 70s and 80s, secularization was considered a global phenomenon that threatened the existence of religion in the public sphere and shifts it into the private sphere. However, we have now shifted to the post- and infra-secular era in which religion negotiates with secularization to establish its place in the world. Geographies of Religion is not simply a dichotomous debate of religion vs. secular but is multifaceted and intersects with many different issues ranging from identity to capitalism.

Numbers do not tell stories, people do. The power of a conversation allows us as researchers, the opportunity to deconstruct any and all preconceived notions or presumptions that we might have about religion, spirituality, and people. Oral histories give us access to the perspectives of everyday individuals who might not otherwise have their story heard. In the digital age, we have access to endless amounts of data and statistics; however, the value of having insight into an individual’s experience is incomparable. Despite the number of diverse stories that our class collected, out group has observed that relationality is an emerging theme found throughout these projects.

Relationality is a fundamental aspect of lived religions across the various projects produced by this class. Oral histories were conducted with people who identify with different religions and spiritualities, yet the concept of relationality to spaces, places, objects, and people is prevalent across these stories. In the project titled “Big R, Little r” the impact of one interviewee’s faith can be seen in her intentional practice of the golden rule towards others. Her relationship with others is impacted everyday by her relationship with God. In the project titled “Place”, the relationship between the individual and nature is explored in connection with faith. One interviewee spoke of her heightened awareness of God when she was in the Grand Canyon. The connectedness with God in nature is seen throughout the projects that were produced by the class. People’s relationships with their surroundings and others both impacts and is impacted by their individual belief system. Overall, relationality is a dominant theme in the oral histories and projects.

To end off, religion and relationships are important aspects of everyday life. Through one’s (dis)connection with people and/or places, one is able to negotiate elements of their religiosity and spirituality or lack thereof. We hope that this project and website has proved informative and interesting for the viewers. Thank you.


The group would like to thank Dr. Olson for teaching this module; GEOG424: Geographies of Religion. Dr. Olson has been a caring professor who never fails to make learning interesting and insightful. In addition, the group would like to thank Rachel Cotterman for offering her expertise in the development of this digital humanities project.

To future (potential) students, we encourage you to take this module and that you will have no regrets taking this module.

Group 1: Casey Lunceford, James Tan, Josey Parker, Kelsey Kirby, William Pryor

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