One of my best friends once spoke to me about how we all follow the same path and engage in certain social experiences depending on where we live. But, because of perspective we all experience things differently. How different is the twenty year old who just graduated with her masters from the twenty year old who attends a community college? This whole idea of following the same path and viewing things differently led my mind to religion. A construct with numerous similarities across all variations and a shared goal of peace, love, and respect for others as well as God. Yet it is the cause of millions of deaths and wars. A path with the same destination but depending on how you decide to travel your experience is either slightly or completely different.
The aim of this project was to show that through our own personal views on certain issues we shape the religion to our own version. With the original image never looking the same once we’ve added our input.
Planning + Process
I focused on the top five religions in the world and came up with some questions that I was curious about. Questions that I believe are very important when it comes to a person and their religion. I then took a photo of an important leader or figure in the religion to be used as the representation.
Once I had all the images I questioned some people from campus in the library about their religions and if they fell into an open category I asked them the questions. After I had their responses I would open the images in a text editor and then insert the questions along with their answers to alter the original image. That image would then be modified to show the results of the person implementing their views.
I've displayed the results with the original answers to the questions below. I am currently working on the next step of this project which would allow users to visit a website, select a religion, and answer the questions to receive their own custom image and then save or share the results.
1: Do you believe in a God? If so, what do you call him/her by?
2: When it comes to sexuality what is the standpoint of [insert religion]?
3: Is there ever any justification in violence and or war when it comes to punishment or spreading the religion?
4: Do you believe that your religion is the true and correct form of worship to God?
5: What are some key principles of your practice?
6: What’s going to happen to those people in the world who’ve never heard about [insert religion]?
1: I don't know if I believe in God but I believe in some higher power.
2: I don't know what my religions standpoint on sexuality is. But since Buddhism is a very loving and respectful religion I would assume we don't look down on people of Unordinary sexualities.
3: No Buddhism is probably the most peaceful religion there is.
4: I don't know all aspects of my religion but I do believe my religion has very positive values as far as bettering oneself in order to live the best and most fulfilling life you can live.
5: Key principles: respect. (That's big)
6: Nothing will happen to people that don't believe in Buddhism. Who is to say one religion is right? I believe as long as you follow a religion that has the most positive values to you than any other religions shouldn't matter.
Jacob Miller (Christianity)
1: Yeah I believe in Jesus. Well he’s the son of God but you get it.
2: I’m a Christian so there’s a lot of debate going on about things like this but me personally I’m all for it.
3: I don’t think so. I think that like there’s a way for things to be solved without someone getting killed or a town getting blown up.
4: I want to say yes but that’s only because of what I know, you get me? Like I was raised Catholic so to me everyone else is doing it wrong. [Laughs]
5: The Ten Commandments. That’s all I got to say.
6: I don’t know about that. Hopefully God is forgiving.
Rajay Patel (Hinduism)
1: There’s not one main God. We all sort of have a God that we bond with and pray to.
2: I haven’t read anything about it but I think like many other religions it’s something that is unwritten but followed due to fear. Usually parents and religious leaders preach about it being wrong when there’s no text about it.
3: No my religion is very peaceful we don’t have wars or things like that.
4: I honestly don’t know what to think. Growing up I always felt that every other religion didn’t make sense.
5: We don’t have something like the ten commandments but we do have core beliefs that we follow.
6: They’ll live on without having to join in our traditions I guess? Not their fault if they're unaware.
Lisa Rodriguez (Islam)
1: Okay I know I have a Spanish name and all but I’m actually Muslim, and I believe in Allah.
2: I don’t believe that it’s actually written about but the culture doesn’t allow for homosexuality. But like with it being 2016 and all people are kinda easing up a bit.
3: No. Even though you see all these dumbass terrorists doing shit in the name of Allah violence shouldn’t be used to spread religion. Like they give us all a bad name and we have to deal with their actions.
4: For me it is, I’m sure everyone else thinks the same of their own religion.
5: Like how you Christians have the Ten Commandments we have the 5 Pillars of Islam.
6: They’ll be fine.
1: I don't personally believe in a God.
2: I'm pretty sure in Judaism everyone is pretty accepting of all types of sexuality.
3: I don't actively practice Judaism so I don't really know how to answer this question 😅
4: Well, I believe so but only because it's all I know and even though I don't practice it, the philosophy is basically to just be a good person. I like to think it's a pretty chill religion.
5: There is a list of Ten Commandments in the Torah, I'm not sure how they differ from the Christian version but it's pretty basic stuff that you'd expect to see in a religious document. "honor thy father and mother", "thou shalt not steal", "thou shalt not murder", to name a few.
6: I don't believe anything will happen to people who don't know about Judaism, I personally think that everyone is free to practice whatever religion that best fits their beliefs.