chapter  2
Making and articulating religious identity
Pages 15

This chapter encourages readers to read, listen, and watch more carefully as they engage with particular material expressions of religion. Interesting and informative interpretations of religious images or objects, the ways that participants use them, and their contribution to creating religious worlds rest on clear descriptions of the mediations themselves. The analogy to reading remains powerful because it reminds us that there are certain skills required to fully participate in an esthetic experience. 'Reading', in the metaphorical sense involves opening one's ears. Listening is a key skill for those who want to understand religion and religious experience. Listening is itself a religious discipline. A central sound of religion is that of human speech. In medieval times cathedrals rose above European towns, making a visual statement about the dominance of the Christian God and the spread of Christendom.