Research Methods for the study of religion

An online training resource

Researching objects and space

Studying religious life and practice will inevitably require thinking about the objects and spaces through which 'religion' gets acted out. Rather than focusing on religious ideas or 'inner' beliefs, this challenges us to think about the significance of everyday aesthetics, the nature of space and the material basis of social life.

Peter Collins explores why objects and space are an important focus for study, as well as theoretical and practical approaches to this work.


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Key Reading

B. Meyer, D. Morgan, C. Paine & S.B. Plate, (2010) ‘The origin and mission of Mateial Religion’, Religion, 40(3),207-11.

The co-founders of the journal Material Religion discuss the intellectual developments that led to the development of this as a distinctive field of study, as well as key debates and concepts that have emerged since the journal has been established.

B. Meyer (2006) ‘Why media, aesthetics and power matter in the study of religion’

This inaugural lecture by Birgit Meyer (available free online) provides a theoretical framework for thinking about the relationships between religious experience, its physical mediation and structures of power in the performance of religious subjectivities.


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Last Updated: 12/09/2012