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Photo by Jaime Wright, 2020.

Encounter

Religious Landscapes

The Living Religion Collaborative (LRC) Encounter Geomapping platform enables students to map local religious and spiritual spaces, practices, and communities in the Silicon Valley and beyond.

LRC 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 is a geographic information system (GIS) platform that can be accessed via any smartphone or computer and allows students to easily collect data on local religions and record observations about their experiences in the field including the option to share images from their research sites.

 

Encountering the Silicon Valley Religious Landscape

Communities
Navigate here to Encounter: Communities Communities Women Preparing Food at Duc Vien Pagoda, San Jose. Photo by Vinni Rivas
Navigate here to Encounter: Communities Communities
Communities

Students record observations and experiences of communities. 

Navigate here to Encounter: Communities Communities Encounter: Communities
Practices and Rituals
Navigate here to Encounter: Practices Practices and ritualsShri Krishna Vrundavana Raghavendra Sthothra Service, San Jose. Photo by Mireya Villarreal
Navigate here to Encounter: Practices Practices and rituals
Practices and rituals

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


Navigate here to Encounter: Practices Practices and ritualsEncounter: Practices
Sacred Spaces
Navigate here to Encounter: Sacred Spaces Sacred SpacesCemetery at Mission San Juan Bautista
Navigate here to Encounter: Sacred Spaces Sacred Spaces
Sacred Spaces

Students record observations and experiences of sacred spaces.


Navigate here to Encounter: Sacred Spaces Sacred SpacesEncounter: Sacred Spaces
Encounter Map
Navigate here to Encounter Map Encounter Map
Navigate here to Encounter Map Encounter Map
Encounter Map

The Encounter Map uses geographic information system (GIS) technology to enable you to join SCU students in their travels across the Silicon Valley religious landscape. Click on the link below to open the Encounter map in a new window. Then click on the dots on the map to read student descriptions of houses of worship, religious service sites, commercial religious sites, public religious and spiritual sites, and other features of the local religious landscape. Student entries include details about the sites they visit as well as their own reflections on the sites.

Students adding sites for course assignments can access the Encounter Survey here.

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Encounter History
Navigate here to Encounter History and Demographics Encounter Demographic, Trend, and Historical Details
Navigate here to Encounter History and Demographics Encounter Demographic, Trend, and Historical Details
Encounter Demographic, Trend, and Historical Details

For more information on the relationship between the Silicon Valley religious landscape and the lives of local residents and communities, click on the Layers List icon at the bottom of the screen to access demographic data such as race, household income, and languages spoken; City of San Jose data such as historical redlining areas and planned redevelopment; and trend data such displacement and gentrification risk. Once you have selected the layers you would like to add (we recommend selecting only 2-3 at a time), close the selection boxes to see how religious sites engage social, economic, and historical realities in Silicon Valley.


Navigate here to Encounter History and Demographics Encounter Demographic, Trend, and Historical DetailsEncounter History and Demographics
Encounter Redlining
Navigate here to Encounter Redlining Encounter Redlining
Navigate here to Encounter Redlining Encounter Redlining
Encounter Redlining

The snapshot above shows how redlining from the 1930s to 1950s maps to displacement and gentrification associated with development projects such as the Google Transit Village.


Navigate here to Encounter Redlining Encounter RedliningEncounter Redlining

Navigating Encounter Map

Join SCU students in their travels across the Silicon Valley religious landscape by clicking on the dots on the Encounter Map to open story windows that share students’ descriptions, reflections, and photos of the sites they’ve explored.

For optimal use of the Encounter map, view the stand-alone version: Encounter: Mapping Religion.