THE LIVED EXPERIENCE OF FAITH
STORIES OF FAITH | STORIES OF HUMANITY is an arts-based research project that fuses phenomenological research with digital storytelling to create experiences of interfaith empathy and dialogue.
RESEARCH PROCESS: As a phenomenological researcher, Dr. Nisha Gupta interviewed nine research participants of diverse spiritual and religious affiliations, and with intersecting cultural identities, about their lived experiences of faith. As a digital artist, she transformed their interviews into digital stories which were sent to participants as a “gift of empathy”, as well as uploaded onto a website to facilitate widespread empathy among the public.
RESEARCH FINDINGS: Along with the digital stories, Gupta produced an existential-hermeneutic phenomenological interpretation about the essence of faith as an existential human experience across religious and spiritual affiliations. The written interpretation has been published on the website. Both the digital stories and written research findings aspire to spur individual and sociocultural healing—to facilitate a therapeutic sense of being empathically listened to among participants by giving them digital stories as “gifts of empathy.” and to facilitate widespread interfaith empathy among the public by publishing the existential research findings online.
PUBLISHED METHOD: Gupta, N. (2018). Stories of faith, stories of humanity: Fusing phenomenological research with digital storytelling to facilitate interfaith empathy. Qualitative Research in Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/14780887.2018.1442705
FUNDING: This project was made possible by funding from a generous co-sponsorship grant from New York University’s Center for Spiritual Life.