Final Report Launch and Discussion
Join the project to hear and discuss the results of their year-long research into the ways in which the pandemic has shaped the ritual lives of religious communities of all kinds across the UK, and how they have adapted their work in response to these challenges. Hear the results of our nationwide survey, our case studies, and the work of our action research group, and discuss the findings and what they mean for the future of religious life in the UK. The project’s final report will be launched at the event. This event will be of particular interest to religious professionals looking to learn ideas and methods for best practice in the post-pandemic world and for anyone interested in the state of religion in Britain and its future. The event is free and open to the public, but please register in advance. Everyone is welcome. Please sign up at this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ritual-life-under-the-pandemic-the-bric-19-final-report-tickets-169372807627
About the Project
Religious rituals do work, essential social work, according to both ritual theorists and the UK government, which has recognized clergy as key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funerals, weddings, birth rituals, and holiday observances are vital to people’s psychological wellbeing and sense of community, especially given the sense of unease created by the pandemic.
But the key means by which clergy do this vital work-live communal ritual-is not possible during lockdown conditions. And so ritual specialists have been forced to improvise means of moving rituals online, something which is virtually unknown to most mainstream clergy. Because these improvised adaptations are being done quickly by busy practicing clergy with little co-ordination between them, they are not being collected or studied in a systematic or detailed way. The full implications of these innovations are thus not being adequately considered or developed in ways that could be beneficial for the wellbeing of Britons of all faiths and beliefs long after the pandemic is over.
This project will fill that gap. It will work with religious professionals of a range of faiths from across Britain to capture, analyse, nurture and develop these fire-forged adaptations and the possibilities they facilitate, using digitally-led methods drawn from digital religion, online religion and performance studies, including involving subjects in action research. These findings will be shared broadly and accessibly for the benefit of the field. They will also contribute academically to ongoing discussions of the changing practices of religion and ritual in the era of digital culture.
We’ll be posting regular updates of our findings and progress on this website. You can you can also sign up for our mailing list to receive updates about the project. We won’t send more than two emails a month, and we won’t use your email address for any other purpose. Just enter your email address below.