Seeing Religion : Toward a Visual Sociology of Religion
The potential of visual research methods in the sociology of religion is vast, but largely untapped. This comes as a surprise, however, given the visual, symbolic, and material nature of religion and spirituality. Evidence of religious faith and practice is materially present in everything from clothing and jewelry to artifacts found in people’s homes and workplaces. Not only is religion’s symbolic and material presence palpable throughout society, it also informs attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of countless people worldwide. Words-and-numbers approaches to social research, however, sometimes miss important dimensions of religion and spirituality in the contemporary world. Seeing Religion is an invitation to a visual sociology of religion. Contributors draw from their current research to discuss the application of visual methods to the study of religion and spirituality. Each chapter stimulates the sociological imagination through examples of research techniques, analytical approaches, and methodological concerns.