Prof. Dan Cook published “Vernacular Faith,” a photo essay on small houses of worship and community transition in North Philadelphia in the Winter 2022 issue of Contexts magazine, a publication of the American Sociological Association.
This photographic essay sets out to represent a sense of place-making in several North Philadelphia neighborhoods, predominately inhabited by African Americans, focusing on the built environment of small houses of worship. In brick and mortar, sheetrock and aluminum, wood and plaster, generations of residents have forged living chambers of significance out of inanimate materials by repurposing storefronts and homes. These edifices give a grounded, visual-material sense of their inextricability from urban history and everyday life, surviving in the interstices of the urban grid over and against historical racial discrimination, economic deprivation, and now, the threat of cultural and geographic displacement.
Read the article here: Vernacular Faith: Community, Heritage, Transition – Daniel Thomas Cook, 2022 (sagepub.com)