Frequencies: A Call for Artworks

We here at Killing the Buddha are really excited to announce our collaboration with the The Immanent Frame (at the Social Science Research Council) on a new project: Frequencies—”a genealogy of spirituality.” It’s led by a pair of the most brilliant and creative scholars of religion running around these days, Kathryn Lofton and John Lardas Modern. The mission is near and dear to what KtB has been doing for more than ten years now:

This project approaches spirituality as a cultural technology, as a diverse reverberation, as a frequency in the ether of experience. We begin in a moment when novelists wonder about the divine, psychological counselors advertise as spiritual advisers, and scholars seek to capture spirituality’s ephemeral nature through survey research. Spirituality abounds, even as it is unclear what it is. Whatever it is, it seems hard to capture. Spirituality takes hold beneath the skin and permeates below the radar of statistical surveys. It resists classification even as it classifies its evaluators and its believers as subjects of its sway. Frequencies will focus this profusion into an epic anthology of wide-ranging analysis.

Yes, but what will it actually look like, you ask. At first—good guess—a website:

Frequencies will be a digital compendium in which the ideals of spiritual self-expression and individual flourishing are held in tension with the historicity of those conceits. What is the relationship, we ask, between these ideals and their ongoing deployment in political and social arenas? In the first phase of this project, we will assemble 100 short pieces about spirituality from eminent scholars, writers, and artists.

A big event and other forms of publication will follow.

You’ll be hearing a lot about Frequencies here on KtB in the next few months. So how can you participate? Easy.

The project has just put out a call for artworks—web-friendly visual art that fits with the Frequencies raison d’etre. Tell your friends! Consider submitting yourself! It’s a great way to get involved with what KtB is doing while also getting in conversation with scholars, writers, and other artists, all in the service of trying to get this whirlwind of spirituality today to explain itself.