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. Conversations Material Economies of Life-Time: Grief, Injury, Expiation, Desire Tracy Fessenden, Hillary Kaell, and 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, seen from a distance, walk through the space. Conversations A Closing Conversation Sarah Rivett and Lerone 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 Conversations The Intimate Ironies of the Wifey: Material Religion and the Body Ellen Amster, Dusty Gavin, and 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 Conversations Designing Risk, Accumulating Failure: Purgatory, the Planned, and Primitive Accumulation Kati Curts, Emily Floyd and Paul 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.”

Photo of a book against a dark background, opened to a full spread of a scientific illustration of a sperm whale Conversations The Old Gods: Whales, Oil, and Teak Judith Brunton, Richard Callahan and Alex 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.

Close detail image of a segment of a ring from a felled tree Conversations American Performances, Economies, and Genealogies of Constraint Laura Levitt, Sally Promey, and 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.

Conversations The Currency of Religion in America in Three Acts: Market Logics, Emissaries of Kinship, and Technologies of Feeling Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, Roxanne Korpan and 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. 

Conversations In Conversation with Christiane Gruber on Material Islamic Studies Christiane Gruber, Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, and Anna Bigelow

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri and Anna Bigelow speak with Christiane Gruber about changes and growth in field of Material Islam, new arenas of inquiry, and their hopes for further interdisciplinary scholarship.

Volume 1: Issue 1
Conversations Reconstructing the Faces of the Saints, an Interview with Friar Luis Enrique Ramírez Camacho, O. P. Interviewed by Emily C. Floyd

In 2014 the Dominican Order in Peru worked with Brazilian NGO EBRAFOL to produce digital facial reconstructions of Peruvian saints Rose of Lima, Martin of Porres, and John Macías.

Conversations Nruhari Das on Material Culture and Krishna Consciousness Interviewed by Ashley Makar

Ashley Makar interviewed Nruhari Das on September 22, 2012 at the Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir ISKON Hare Krisha Temple in Brooklyn, New York.

Conversations Shep Parson on Material Culture and Protestant Ministry Interviewed by Ashley Makar

Ashley Makar interviewed Shephard (Shep) Parsons in 2011 when Parsons was minister at Shelton Congregational Church in Shelton, Connecticut. He is currently Senior Pastor at First Church of Christ, Woodbridge, Connecticut.

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.

Conversations Interview with American Sufi Artist Michael Green Interviewed by M. Shobhana Xavier

A follower of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, Green is based in Pennsylvania and is best known for his illustrations in The Illuminated Rumi (1997).