My PhD explores the role of experience in understanding the shift in the West from institutionalised religion towards personal spirituality. Using a case study of an American mega-Church, my project will investigate ‘spirit’ as a productive and transformative force in generating ‘other-worldly’ experiences that become entangled with believers everyday lives. This project builds upon my MA at the University of Liverpool where I was awarded 90% for my project on material and bodily experiences of ‘spirit’ at Evangelical conferences.
Drawing on a range of non-representational theories, my PhD aims to explore how human geographers and other social scientists can make room for the seemingly immaterial but deeply consequential dimensions of experiencing ‘spirit’. By attempting to develop new understandings of the agency of ‘spirit’, the project aims to both expand social scientific accounts of the immaterial dimensions of life as well as advance the use of methodologies for researching experiences that exceed language.