Working with: participatory approaches in researching religions, spiritualties, and faith

Convenor: Richard Scriven, National University of Ireland, Galway,

In response to calls for more participative research and socially impactful projects, geographers and others are developing new methodologies and sensibilities to engage with religions, spiritualties, and faith. Working meaningfully with people, groups, and communities is appreciated as presenting a new and evocative landscapes to explore beliefs, practices, volunteerism, and social justice. The session intends to reflect on these areas and speculate on future developments, while also capturing how researchers are conceptualising and approaching the subjects. This will be an interactive session where researchers can contribute to larger discussions while showcasing aspects of their research. We particularly welcome contributions that address the following themes:

  • Theoretical and methodological opportunities and challenges
  • Participatory methods and action-oriented research
  • Volunteering and social justice
  • Challenges/opportunities in researching the intimacies of faith and religious practices
  • Questions of positionality and the researcher’s faith or variation/absence thereof

The session is intended to be participative, with presentations followed by a roundtable discussion. Each participant will give a short (10 minute) presentation, after which there will be a discussion of the ideas and issues raised involving speakers and audience.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted to Richard Scriven – by Friday 2nd February.


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