Lived Religion in the Digital Age

Seeking to better understand the sights, sounds, tastes, rituals, beliefs, and overall experiences of religion in the everyday lives of practitioners.

The Project

Lived Religion in the Digital Age is a new initiative in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University directed by Dr. Rachel Lindsey and Dr. Pauline Lee. The project is funded through a Henry Luce Foundation grant on Advancing Public Scholarship on Religion and Theology. We aim to further academic and civic understanding of religion through the production of digital publications and resources, public forums and performances, art exhibits, publicly engaged research, and academic conferences. 

15

Research Fellows

5

Teaching Fellows

3

Undergraduate Fellows

1

Artist in Residence

Pauline Lee
Rachel Lindsey
Adam Park
Samantha Arten
Deepan Rajaratnam

The Team

Our project team is based out of Saint Louis University. Working together, our collaborations help organize a variety of public forums, exhibits, conferences, pedagogical resources, research support, and digital publications. 

The Team

Our project team is based out of Saint Louis University. Working together, our collaborations help organize a variety of public forums, exhibits, conferences, pedagogical resources, research support, and digital publications. 

Pauline Lee

Rachel Lindsey

Samantha Arten

Adam Park

Deepan Rajaratnam

Where we look

Lived Religion in the Digital Age proceeds from the tested assumption that religion is most readily found and best studied within the improvised and divergent traditions of its practitioners. Canonical religious texts and recognized sanctuary may well be. But religion is bound by little more than imagination and creation. And so, towards the everyday experience we look. The memories, the extempore tales, the routinized presumption, the unthinking habits, the solipsistic conviction, the de facto legislation, the handcrafted makings – these are the sites of inquiry. 

“One of the responsibilities of the academic study of religion is to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange.” 

-David Chidester, Salvation and Suicide: Jim Jones, The Peoples Temple, and Jonestown 

Photo credits: Gus Ruelas, Tibetan monks sand mandala (2015, University of Southern California); Confirmation class at San Francisco’s Temple Beth Israel (c. 1920, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life); Melissa Wall, La Guadalupana Market (2014, Los Angeles); Paul Cannon, Muhammad Ali listens to Elijah Muhammad in Chicago (1966, The Associated Press); Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, IL (2019, Public Domain); Edward Curtis, A Tluwulahu mask – Tsawatenok, from The North American Indian (1914, Public Domain); Ouija board manufactured in 1890 by the Kennard Novelty Company (Public Domain); Taekwondo medalists at the Rio Olympics (2016, Creative Commons); Edward Curtis, Apache women, Mizheh, and babe (1906, Public Domain); Kyla Calvert, Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School students in chair pose (2012, Encinitas, CA); Cristina Fletes, Mohiniyattam dancers at Rath Yatra St. Louis (2015); Steve Elliott, Captain Rattan US Army (2010, Public Domain); US flag reflection on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall (2011, Wikimedia Commons); Pentacle on wiccan altar (2018, Wikimedia Commons); Frazer Harrison, Anniesa Hasibaun’s New York Fashion Week’s first all-hijab show (2016); Lauren Pond, Inflatable Buddha at Columbus Ohio Museum of Art (2016).