'Interfaith connections at home: domestic space, practice and dialogue in contemporary London'

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Geography


Through this project, I will explore the interfaith significance of domestic religious spaces and practices for Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities in contemporary London. Spanning domestic practices in everyday life and during religious festivals (e.g. familial roles, hospitality, and food) and domestic spaces of religious faith (e.g. religious iconography, material and sensory culture), my project will contribute to broader debates about home, religion and interfaith dialogue. Interfaith activities developed by a range of organizations concentrate on public spaces of education, civil society and the city rather than home. Research on home and religion in contemporary London and elsewhere largely focuses on particular faith communities rather than interfaith connections between them (including McCloud, 1996; Tolia-Kelly, 2004).

I will address the following questions:

a) How and why is the home an important site of religious practice for Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities in contemporary London? b) What are the connections and differences between the domestic practices of different faith communities?
c) How and why are domestic spaces informed by religious faith across these communities?
d) To what extent do people encounter and understand the homes and domestic practices of different faiths?
e) To what extent can the home be a site of interfaith engagement, dialogue and understanding?


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Description Home Thoughts: Stories of Living in London 
Organisation The Geffrye Museum of the Home
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I was one of the co-curators of this collaborative exhibition at The Geffrye Museum of the Home, contributing display material including: objects, photographs, exhibition text and one short film (made with the filmmaker Kyna Gourley). This material focused on 'Religion at home' in several display cases as part of a wider exhibition.
Collaborator Contribution The exhibition was planned, co-curated, part-funded and hosted by The Geffrye Museum from June 2017 until January 2018.
Impact The exhibition led to several public events, including two lunchtime talks given by myself and Miri Lawrence, another researcher on the 'Home and Religion' CDA project. I also organised two interfaith group visits to the museum, to tour its permanent galleries and the 'Home Thoughts' exhibition in Autumn 2017.
Start Year 2017