Dear A4A friends,
I'm excited to be able to attend the Parliment of World Religions in Melbourne Australia in Dec. for my work (with an interfaith organization) and look what I found on the schedule! I'll attend this (with my knitting of course) and send the blog a report!
Knit Together in Love: Communities Enriched by Altruistic Handicrafting
Academic Paper and Interactive Workshop
When you make a handmade object, you reconnect to the process of creation. You transform raw materials into a finished product, rather than simply buying a mass-produced item. You experience fellowship and connectedness with other craftspeople, as well as with those for whom the object is intended. This research-based workshop will highlight individuals and small groups that employ their handcrafting skills to make unique textile objects, created for the sole purpose of giving them to those in need, often complete strangers. Knitters and crocheters are welcome to bring their crafts with them to work on as we discuss how, through engaging in this process, individuals build
relationships with themselves, each other, and the community at large. This session will focus in particular on how knitters and crocheters respond to the needs of the community, as well as their empowering role as stewards of knowledge, skills, and resources. These creative processes are explored using the theoretical framework of ‘lived religion’, which examines how religion and spirituality function in the creative process of handicraft, as well as how they are manifested within the daily lives of people who participate in them.
Alison Hood is Chair of Religious Studies at Huntington University. She teaches courses pertaining to the contemporary issues of technology, spirituality, and ritual and their effects on life experiences. Alison is a member of the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion and is currently pursuing her Doctorate at the University of Queensland, researching altruistic handcrafting as ‘lived religion’. She holds a BA from Laurentian University and an MA from Wilfrid Laurier University.