A Preview of the Living Religions Collaborative Website
The Living Religion Collaborative (LRC), a project of the Religious Studies Department that facilitates engagement between SCU students and local religious communities, practitioners, and sites, launched a new website this spring. The site shares background on the LRC and the study of living religion, photos and narratives from student fieldwork, and an interactive geomapping platform on which students mark their travels through the Silicon Valley religious and spiritual landscape with site information, short reflections, and photos.
The website and geomapping platform were developed through a collaboration of LRC director Elizabeth Drescher and LRC student fellow Connor Holttum (SCU ’18). Together, the website and the geomaps create a site for sharing and interaction between students in Religious Studies courses and local religious and spiritual practitioners and communities. They allow for the archiving and sharing of important information about a diverse and dynamic religious landscape, but their most significant value may be in their ability to gather insights from young adults as they engage sacred spaces, religious communities, and spiritual practitioners. And, the website and LRC Geomap can be used for Religious Studies and other classes, bringing the local religious and spiritual landscape into the classroom.
“As religious unaffiliation continues to increase, especially among young adults,” explains Professor Drescher, “there is a tremendous interest in how young people experience spirituality and religion, how they are changing what religion is through their own creative engagement with religious and spiritual traditions. The LRC Geomap allows students to use their smartphones to share their experiences in the field, inviting the wider community to join them on rich pilgrimages of data-gathering and reflection through the region.”
Over the summer and in the fall, LRC Fellow Nick Nagy (SCU ’19) will continue development of the website, adding student narratives to photo galleries from various sites that appear on the website now. The website will also share information on LRC faculty and student fellows, courses, news, and events.