Religion in Modern Britain is a first year module for undergraduate students taken by all students studying religion at Leeds. The module introduces students to undertaking independent fieldwork (including ethical and health and safety considerations). The reports provide interesting accounts of a range of places of worship in Leeds, please see below for some examples.
Mia Tuckey visited the Leeds Hindu Mandir. She reflects on her visit:
Visiting the Leeds Hindu Mandir was really insightful, especially given that I had a quite basic knowledge of the religion prior to my fieldwork. It was great to learn about Hinduism within the specific context of Leeds; I found it really interesting to see how the Mandir functions as a space to create a diasporic community.
Read Mia’s report here: Visit to the Leeds Hindu Mandir (2017)
Kerri-Anne visited a Hindu Mandir. Kerri-Anne says of her visit:
I feel I have gained an insight into the Hindu community in Leeds, despite being an outsider to this community. I knew very little about Hinduism before undertaking my fieldwork report, and have gained a great deal from this experience.
Read Kerri-Anne’s report here: Visit to a Hindu Mandir (2014)
Laura Metcalfe visited Leeds Jamyang Buddhist Centre. She reflects on her visit:
The most significant aspect which I will take away from this visit was how Buddhist teachings relate to everyday life, whether you are a part of the Buddhist religion or not. Visiting Leeds Jamyang Buddhist Centre exceeded my expectations and was a valuable experience. Many aspects surprised me such as the wide scope of individuals and lives all intertwined in one place to practice.
Read Laura’s report here:Visit to Jamyang Buddhist Centre (2018)
Josh House visited the Wat Buddharam in Headingley. He reflects on his visit:
The Wat Buddharam was perfect; learning about a different religious tradition, an insight into lives unalike my own, and monastics! The visit to the Wat helped me to understand the vital role that it plays within the life of the local Thai community.
Read Josh’s report here: Visit to the Wat Buddharam (2017)
Gabi Symons visited Leeds Jamyang Buddhist Centre. She reflects on her visit:
One thing I found interesting was hearing and researching different opinions on whether Buddhism is classified as a religion or not, by the people who practice it. I enjoyed comparing that with my own opinions of the extent to which Buddhism classifies as a religion, realising how my insider role to a different religion played a part in influencing my opinions, and seeing how my opinion changed as my research developed.
Read Gabi’s report here: Visit to Jamyang Buddhist Centre (2014)
Ramone Moon visited the Jamyang Buddhist Centre. Ramone says of her visit:
The greatest thing I gained was a conception of why Buddhism is considered one of the fastest growing religions.
Read Ramone’s report here: Visit to Jamyang Buddhist Centre (2013)
Sarah Goswami visited a ward of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. She reflects on her visit:
With reference to academic viewpoints on what constitutes a ‘New Religious Movement’ (NRM),this this fieldwork did allow me to explore a NRM in real life. It also allowed me to see the personal side of the religion… Looking back on the visit I was struck by the emphasis on community and family
Read Sarah’s report here: Visit to the Church of Latter-Day Saints (2018)
Ffion Williams visited Leeds Quaker Meeting house. She reflects on her visit:
I decided to visit the Quaker Meeting House as I had little knowledge and understanding of the faith. The main focus of my visit was on gender equality as I wanted to understand if men and women had particular roles to play within the tradition. My visit was a useful way to experience the practice of this Christian denomination.
Read Ffion’s report here: Visit to Leeds Quaker Meeting House (2017)
One student visited Central Leeds (Carlton Hill) Quaker Meeting, and says:
I valued the fieldwork visit because I don’t come from a religious household and so the only experience I have had at churches would be at weddings and funerals, usually in protestant churches. I assumed that the Quaker church I visited would be quite similar because it was of Christian denomination. But it was very different in structure and quite eye opening.
Read the report here: Visit to Central Leeds (Carlton Hill) Quaker Meeting (2013)
Khatija Sallu visited Leeds Roman Catholic Cathedral.
You can read her report here: Visit to Leeds Cathedral (2013)
Martha-Scott Cracknell visited Leeds Grand Mosque. She reflects on her visit:
Before my fieldwork experience at Leeds Grand Mosque, I’d never had direct insight into a Muslim community, but this opportunity enabled me to do this, as well as understand Muslim identity in Leeds and interaction with wider society. I was also able to meet individuals and understand how they have been shaped by effects of Islamic trans nationalism and migration which I found very interesting.
Read Martha’s report here: Visit to Leeds Grand Mosque (2015)
Riva Black visited a mosque, and reflected on her first significant experience of Islam. She says:
One aspect of the fieldwork which I found particularly interesting was exploring the theme of insider/outsider status. As it was my first time both visiting and Mosque and speaking to an Imam, I felt like a complete outsider who was a blank slate ready to receive new information and ideas. Although I had already chosen a theme that I wanted to examine before the visit, it was interesting to see what direction my fieldwork would take me in.
Read the full report here: Visit to a mosque (2011)
Ujjwala Harshavardhan visited the GNNSJ Gurdwara. She reflects on her visit:
Visiting the gurudwara played a large role in challenging my perception of the insider/outsider problem, especially in relation to my own cultural and religious background. This fieldwork project also allowed me to see how a diaspora community integrates with and adds to British society. Actually going to visit meant that I had a much clearer understanding than from books alone.
Read Ujj’s report here: Visit to Beeston Gurdwara (2015)
Rachael Vickerman visited a Sikh Gurdwara. She reflects:
Studying TRS at Leeds has offered me so many opportunities to see for myself how religions work in our local community, and how believers maintain or reinvent their traditions in diasporas today. I enjoyed putting what I’d read about Sikhism being a religion of gender equality to the test on Diwali, one of the busiest and most colourful nights in the Sikh calendar.
Read Rachael’s report here: Visit to a Sikh Temple (2014)