Religion in place

Lived Religion in the Digital Age seeks to better understand religion in American public life through collaboration with members of local communities representing diverse traditions, histories, and practices. Attending to sounds, sights, and spaces, as well as to teachings and texts, our research team works to build a robust multisensory inventory of religion as it is lived in the complex realities of modern life.

Missouri Botanical Garden. Bible Garden Panorama. Photo by Bob Sforza for SLU undergraduate research project, February 2018.

Lived Religion in the Digital Age is a new initiative in the Department of Theological Studies at SLU directed by Dr. Rachel McBride Lindsey and Dr. Pauline Lee and funded through an Advancing Public Scholarship on Religion and Theology grant through the Theology Program of the Henry Luce Foundation.

Working with local and regional religious communities, museums, parks, schools, and other civic organizations, this research initiative seeks to develop multisensory inventories of lived religion throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area through historical, archival, ethnographic, and digital research methods.

We invite sustained conversation across theology and the multidisciplinary study of religion to develop research models that scrutinize the translation of these local inventories into digital products. The project convenes two events each year, supports research and teaching at the intersection of lived religion and digital cultures, and is working with the Walter J. Ong, S.J. Center for Digital Humanities to build a publicly accessible interactive database of religious life and practice.

In the 2018-2019 year, we are focusing on the theme of Mapping Religion in order to develop new methods of imagining the city across lived experience and digital life. Future years will focus on themes of Performing Religion (2019-2020) and Religion, Migration, and Diaspora (2020-2021).