This site is the workplace, blog, bibliography, and info center for Placing American Religion, a graduate course in the study of religion at Emory University, taught by Bobbi Patterson in Spring of 2013.
What changes or shifts when histories and cultures of American and Trans-American Religions are examined through the lenses of place and space? From foundational to current theories and methods, this course will explore a range of approaches including: human and regional geography, socially and politically produced space, and topophila, affective bonds, meaning making between people and place. Placing these approaches in dialogue with historical and contemporary examples of American and Trans-American religious cultures, we will consider place as content of the human condition an evolving way of being in the world, and/or commoditized, material destination. We will consider how and why memory and imagination construct religious practices of place from home-making, to nation-crafting, to sacred searching. Studying forms of resistance to place-making that attempt to modify or deconstruct sacred meaning and power, our analysis will include dynamics of urban/suburban, race, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation – ethical consequences and critiques of place and globalism.