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Synthetic Religions

S 4 E 7- Adaptive Reuse

More religious spaces are currently closing than opening in America today. Another recent study found that over 50% of religious communities are facing financial difficulties and hardships. In some cities, nearly 20-30% of churches have closed or are currently in the process of closing. Moreover, the covid-19 pandemic and rising inflation has exacerbated many of these existing problems and created added financial strains on already imperiled religious communities.

How will these growing financial hardships impact the religious practices and beliefs of communities in the future? Is this the end of religion as we have known it? Is it possible that the closure of institutional religious spaces is heralding a new period of religious renewal and awakening?

Join us for episode 7 of the Assembly Podcast as we debate these questions and explore the future of sacred spaces in the United States and globally. We are joined by Rebekah Coffman, a historian and curator whose work and research explores the concept of adaptive reuse and application within religious spaces. Over the course of her career working and advising religious communities, Rebekah has pioneered a collection of new methods and strategies for reconfiguring and reimagining religious spaces. 

To contact and learn more about Rebekah Coffman’s work and exhibitions visit the following link.

A transcription for the podcast is available via the following link.