By Anna, Chris, Caitlin, and Adelyn.
Geographies of religion is a field that seeks to understand the intersection of space, place and religiosity. Inherent to conceptualization of space and place is scale, i.e., the scope of space that one wishes to observe. Each of the projects exhibited here can be broken down using different scales of analysis. Further, each of these scales of analysis lends a unique perspective to our understandings of religious belonging.
The Relationality project takes a global perspective with interviews from narrators from around the world. The interactive maps explicitly allow the user to explore the different scales at which narrators characterized their religious experiences. Each individual story allows the user to “zoom-in” and understand the scale of body and community and how these relationships shape religious belonging. Interestingly, this project also incorporates a powerful place history that explores how the material construction of space, along with the politics of such space, can profoundly influenced lived religious experience.
The Life Course project demonstrates how religious belonging through space and place plays out across time. The combination of sounds, interview clips, videos and maps adds depth to how people relate to places throughout their life. Whereas our project, Southern Hospitality, explored scale from a spatial perspective, the Life Course project might be thought of as approaching scale temporally.
The Place project attempts to place the viewer directly in the position of the narrator. By using this first hand perspective, it is possible for the viewer to embody the experiences of the narrators. The project explored personal experiences of seeing and interacting with nature and built landscapes. Importantly, the narrators discuss how these interactions with the material world shaped their religious embodiment.
Big R, Little r:
As opposed to personal experiences with nature or the built environment, Big R, Little r explores the embodied experience from a relational perspective. Like Southern Hospitality, it seeks to understand how different identities interact with communities to produce feelings of belonging and alienation. This piece illustrates the many ways in which broader scales are interfaced with through and by the body.