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Isaac Amitai Weiner
Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA 30303-2538)
Religious Sound, Public Space, and American Pluralism

This book project offers a new model for analyzing the politics of religious pluralism in the United States by attending to disputes about public religious sound. Drawing on archival research and fieldwork, I examine a series of historical case studies in which neighbors complained about religious sounds spilling over into public spaces. I use these noise disputes to consider how Americans have heard and responded to the sounds of religious difference and how sound has figured into broader contests over religion's place in American spatial and social order. Complaining about religion as noise has offered a valuable strategy for silencing religious dissent and for circumscribing religion's boundaries more generally. At the same time, religious individuals and groups have rarely kept quiet. They have insisted instead on their right to practice religion out loud, implicitly advancing alternative understandings of religion and its place in the modern world.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Religion, General

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2013 – 7/31/2013