Living Together and Yet, Apart Exploring Everyday Religion through Soundscapes
The work explores everyday-religiosity through ‘sounds of religion’ that are the amplified/unamplified intangible soundscapes invoking religiosity in people, emanating from religious places of worship, gatherings and other public spaces in general. The work largely is shaped around the pertinent question; should religious soundscapes be only understood as conflict causing sonic-disorders in multi-religious neighbourhoods? The work, through its ethnographic explorations (both published and proposed), refutes categorizing religions in pairs of conflicting binaries, and instead highlights convergence and consensus in the ways lives are organized and lived, around different soundscapes in two multi-religious townscapes across India.
Such a consensus, the work argues is achieved when religion is lived in continuity as shared faith, with religious soundscapes generating affect, perceived as a collective auditory experience instead of a competing-conflicting one in everyday life. This everydayness of religion is further explored through assemblages and actor-network models, thereby trying to shift away from a monolithic understanding of religion in distinct categories and instead focusing up on its routinely lived ordinary shared connected aspects in social life.
An attempt is made here to read plurality by understanding religion, not in tangible material aspects with sharp boundaries, but as affectual intangible collective faith, rooted as an everyday lived practice in the socio-cultural history of communities and individuals who have survived communal disruptions such as partition of the sub-continent in 1947.