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Constellations are focused exhibitions of four to twenty objects brought into conversation with one another, with the option of including descriptive text.
This special joint issue is published with The Journal of Southern Religion (JSR). The journals issued a call for papers together in 2017 and are pleased to publish these four peer-reviewed articles, two editorial introductions, and one editorial reflection. In his editorial reflection, Bill Ferris considers his own history with southern religion and material culture. Jason Young and Louis P. Nelson offer introductions for the four articles, with additional reflection on the state of the field.
The simple, gable-end church form was suited to the material circumstances and to the socio-theological climate of the Second Great Awakening. Gable-end churches provided an affective and sensorial locus for newly created communities to position themselves as extensions of an evangelical Protestant national consciousness.
The architecture of New Mexican village churches is often described as vernacular, which is to say that the construction materials (adobe, stone, vigas, latillas) are local; the design reflects local taste, tradition, and resources; the construction standards are idiosyncratic, pursuant to the experience, inclinations, and skills of the builders; and the finished product represents the history and cultural identity of the community.
MAVCOR began publishing Conversations: An Online Journal of the Center for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion in 2014. In 2017 we selected a new name, MAVCOR Journal. Articles published prior to 2017 are considered part of Conversations and are listed as such under Volumes in the MAVCOR Journal menu.
Among the material items that might occupy the pre-Vatican II American Catholic home, regardless for the most part of the occupant’s ethnicity or familial nation of origin, the last rites cabinet or viaticum (Latin for “supply of provisions for a journey”) asserted a powerful daily and nightly presence.