Each Wednesday, I write a post from my dissertation.
A discussion on scrapbooking is incomplete without a discussion of the role religion plays within scrapbooking.
One genre of scrapbooking is called faithbooking, which involves compiling a scrapbook about one’s faith and their spiritual journey. I did not interview any scrapbookers who did faithbooking. I did not seek out this style of scrapbooking, but might in future research. Do you faithbook? What can you tell me about faithbooking if you do?
I did interview scrapbookers who scrapbooked about religion some of the time and some who used scrapbooking as part of their religious practice, though not necessarily faithbooking.
Among my respondents, scrapbooks occasionally demonstrate the significance of religion in the scrapbooker’s life. For instance, one respondent only includes photographs of people who are either family members or her church’s ministers. Friends, co-workers, and others were not included in her scrapbooks—only family and religious leaders.
For most scrapbookers who are religious, however, their scrapbooks inevitably leave out a significant part of their life because they are often prohibited from taking photographs of religious ceremonies. Pages about Baptisms may include photographs from before or after the ceremony and the Baptism certificate, but not always the actual ceremony because of this prohibition. For example, it is against the rules to take photographs inside a Mormon Temple, whereas other religions may only discourage photography of certain ceremonies or during certain parts of a ceremony. Occasionally, a scrapbooker mentioned observing religious ceremonies that could be photographed but opted not to in order to be respectful. Moreover, photographs are more likely to be taken of special religious ceremonies rather than everyday religious life.
Religion is also important to a discussion about scrapbooking because the Latter-day Saints (LDS) are credited with popularizing modern scrapbooking. Several respondents mention the LDS church as being the reason scrapbooking is more popular today than in the past. LDS members are not required to scrapbook, but they are encouraged to record their histories. This recording may take the form of scrapbooking, journaling, or even blogging. In other words, scrapbooking may be a way to perform a religious duty.
Religion also matters in that religious groups sponsor crops and sometimes classes. Churches and synagogues regularly hold scrapbooking nights or afternoons for their members to come scrapbook. Scrapbooking, then, is a leisure activity accepted and condoned by religious groups and is a way for scrapbookers to do religious practice.
What role does religion play in your scrapbooking? Join the conversation below or on facebook.
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