Take a picture of religion: Engaging students in the multisensory study of lived religion
This article investigates how different media (including digital photography and sound recordings) can facilitate students’ creative engagement with complex concepts in the study of religion, particularly those associated with a ‘lived religion’ approach. In doing so, it explores possibilities for object-based learning and multisensory learning experiences in Higher Education (see also: Chatterjee et al., 2015; Innovating Pedagogy, 2020; Kelly and Sihite, 2018; Medina, 2009). It adopts a case study approach, focused on the critical evaluation of a range of assessed and unassessed activities that form part of the undergraduate second year (Level 5) Religious Studies course ‘A227 Exploring Religion: Places, Practices, Texts and Experiences’ offered at The Open University (UK). These activities ask students to take photographs and make sound recordings of aspects of religion in their local environment and then share and discuss these with other students on an online platform. The findings of this study are of particular relevance to blended and distance learning settings (including socially distanced settings in the context of the Covid19-pandemic) in Higher Education, where opportunities for object-based, multisensory learning have been especially underexplored. However, they will be of interest to anyone looking for creative ways to engage students in the study of religion.