Three University of Rochester courses contributed to the development of Digitizing Rochester’s Religions.

Dr. Margarita Guillory’s religion course REL 278, “iReligion: Religion in the Digital Age” (spring 2016 and spring 2018), introduced students to the changing religious culture of the computer age. For the spring 2016 final project, students identified local religious congregations, researched their presence on the Internet, and wrote short reports profiling the congregations. This assignment was a trial version of the work that the DRR student researchers would later do.

In fall 2016, Dr. Guillory supervised Daniel Gorman Jr. in an independent Ph.D. reading course, REL 591, “Digital Religion.” The readings addressed theories of religion, digital humanities practices and methods, and U.S. religious history (including the religious history of Rochester, N.Y.). The course assignments consisted of a pilot DRR essay about a Rochester religious site, the identification of relevant primary sources in the Dept. of Rare Books, Special Collections, & Preservation, and the creation of a test map of Rochester religion sites using Google My Maps.

Gorman’s history course HIS 191, “Cults, Chakras, and Crunchy Granola: New Age Religions in America” (July 2019), introduced students to new religious movements, in the sense of newly invented religions as well as religions that immigrants have brought to America in recent decades. For their final project, students visited a local religious site and wrote an ethnographic report about their experiences. Reports that received a B grade or higher were eligible for publication in DRR.

Course Descriptions

REL 278: iReligion: Religion in the Digital Age, taught by Dr. Margarita Guillory.

REL 591: Ph.D. Readings in Religion: Digital Religion, taught by Dr. Margarita Guillory.

HIS 191: Cults, Chakras, and Crunchy Granola: New Age Religions in America, taught by Daniel Gorman Jr.

HIS 191 Student Projects

Hindu Temple of Rochester, by Adrian Remnant

White Lotus Buddhist Center of Rochester, New York, by Cole Summers