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Encountering the Silicon Valley Religious Landscape


Living Religion Collaborative faculty have developed courses that invite students to conduct ethnographic research in the field, connecting them to local religious and spiritual communities and practitioners whose religious and spiritual lives are a central focus of student learning. Each quarter, students in a range of undergraduate religious studies courses record geographically located snapshots of their observations. In addition to recording the dynamism of religion and spirituality in Silicon Valley, their observations offer insight into how young adults experience these spaces—what they see, hear, feel, and understand as interesting, significant, or meaningful. 

Encounter their ethnographic work by clicking on the blocks on this page. 


LRC Encounter GeoMap

Santa Clara students and faculty map religious sites in Silicon Valley on the LRC Encounter GeoMap. Each colored dot represents a site visited. Click on the dot to learn about the site.
Check out the full map here.
Mural of Mother Earth with Native and Aztec Inspiration
Navigate here to Spirits of the City

Religious sites come in various forms, some institutional, others more ad hoc. This story map explores murals painted on buildings, fences, and other structures throughout San Jose by area residents and artists. Murals are expressions of culture, history, and identity that often draw on religious iconography, locales, and stories. 

Andrew Putnam Hill, Mission Santa Clara de Asis (1849). Santa Clara University Collection. Public Domain
Navigate here to Mapping Silicon Valley Religion

Explore the history of the diverse Silicon Valley religious landscape through this storymap by SCU graduate Dhruv Pais (’22).

Cemetery at Mission San Juan Bautista
Navigate here to Sacred Spaces

Students record observations and experiences of sacred spaces.

Shri Krishna Vrundavana Raghavendra Sthothra Service, San Jose. Photo by Mireya Villarreal
Navigate here to Practices and rituals

Students record observations and experiences of daily religious practices and sacred rituals.

People indulging in some community service
Navigate here to Communities

Students record observations and experiences of communities. 

Santa Clara Students in place-based course map local religious and spiritual spaces, practices, and communities in the Silicon Valley and beyond.

Photo by Jaime Wright, 2020