Material Religion Initiative (MRI)


In recent years, the study of religion has undergone an important shift, as a growing number of scholars foreground the role of diverse forms of media, technology, material culture, embodiment, and the senses in research on religious experiences, practices, affiliations, and forms of public-making. Such research has generated new bases for studying key dimensions of religious life -- such as ritual practice, communal identity, knowledge formation, or ecstatic experience -- in local settings, both historically and today. This 'material turn' in the study of religion has also facilitated the re-evaluation of a range of phenomena not always classified as religious but that merit comparison, from magic and occultism to politics, theatre, art, science, consumer culture and popular entertainment. Bringing together Concordia and Montreal-based experts in a variety of disciplines, this working group will explore how material approaches to the study of religion (broadly defined) inform individual research projects and also provide new opportunities for comparison and debate.

Jeremy Stolow, Department of Communication Studies
Hillary Kaell, Religions & Cultures
Nicola Pezolet, Art History

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