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Conversations are literal conversations between or among parties representing a range of professions and personal perspectives.

Volume 6: Issue 3 Characterizing Material Economies of Religion in the Americas

A special issue curated by Kati Curts and Alex Kaloyanides

  • Stone path in an old cemetery, surrounded by dark trees, fog, and headstones and monuments of various sizes.
    Tracy Fessenden, Hillary Kaell, Alexia Williams
    Tracy Fessenden, Hillary Kaell, and Alexia Williams discuss three iterations of religious, material economies: bus stop clocks, cloistered Magdalens, and a Catholic prayer card from Denver.
  • View of bright, open building with white rafters pointed steeply at the roof. People, from a distance, walk through the space.
    Sarah Rivett, Lerone A. Martin
    If the Marxian dialectic culminates with the mystification of the commodity, these essays seem to envision a sacralization and re-sacralization of the profane, such that matter is the accumulation of sacred value. Transcendence and enchantment in this account are very much “real” and just as ontologically entrenched as capitalism.
  • Long brown hair fastened with bejeweled rose clip, photographed from the back with shoulders--in blue and pink floral top--in frame
    Ellen Amster, Dusty Gavin, Suzanne van Geuns
    From the familiarity of scent to the spread of colonial/space time, and through Black vernacular culture and “linking” us to divine power through the digital, Ellen Amster, Dusty Gavin, and Suzanne van Geuns introduce us to the strange intimacies of the wifey.
  • Abstract painting with a circle at its centre divided up into segments of block colour
    Kati Curts, Emily C. Floyd, Paul Christopher Johnson
    In Fall 2020, Paul Johnson, Emily Floyd, and Kati Curts met on Zoom. In this edit of their extended conversation, the authors question “planned sacred space,” the role of design in creating religious experience, and the category of the “relic.”
  • Judith Ellen Brunton, Richard (Chip) J. Callahan, Jr., Alexandra Kaloyanides
    Judith Ellen Brunton, Richard Callahan, and Alexandra Kaloyanides endeavor to find the resonances their images pose to characterizing material economies of religion in the Americas. In emails from the autumn of 2020, each offers moments of speculation on the contexts shaping their research objects, and the supernatural powers and economies they enchant.
  • Laura S. Levitt, Sally M. Promey, David Walker
    In this collaboratively written exercise, the authors discuss the material significance of embodied sense perceptions and affects. Despite Protestant secularity’s claims to the contrary, sensation and affect are no more confined to interiorized subjective mental states than is religion merely belief.
  • Stack of Jonathan Adler 'Soul' candles in their boxes stacked in a pyramid, with one unboxed candle on the right
    Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, Roxanne L. Korpan, Cody Musselman
    Cody Musselman, Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, and Roxanne Korpan each present an object for consideration. Together they think about what it means for each object to be involved in the material economy of religion. Their conversation traverses various geographies and traditions, and ponders how material objects can be carriers of religion.
Volume 6: Issue 2 Material Islam

A special issue guest edited by Kambiz GhaneaBassiri and Anna Bigelow. 

Volume 1: Issue 1
Conversations: An Online Journal of the Center for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion

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.