The 2019–2020 students are creating self-guided tours of religious sites in Nashville. In groups of 2–3, students researched different neighborhoods in Nashville and created a tour of religious sites in that area. Through this assignment, we learned that religious diversity is not something “out there” in the world, but here in Nashville and the Vanderbilt community.
Students in the Fall Semester created self-guided tours of religious sites of the Nashville neighborhoods of: West Meade/Southwest Nashville, 12th South, Green Hills, Edgehill/Wedgewood, West End/Broadway, Berry Hill, Charlotte Ave, and Little Kurdistan. In the Spring Semester, some students created tours of individual neighbourhoods, including Belle Meade, Vanderbilt and Belmont, Charlotte Ave, and Nolensville Pike; while others chose to focus on theme, including Judaism and Islam in Nashville, Hinduism and Indian Culture in Nashville, and Christianity in Nashville.
Religious spaces covered on these tours include churches, synagogues, mosques, Buddhist centers, Hindu temples, Sikh gurudwaras, a Sai Baba Temple, yoga studios, and religious bookstores. These tours span a time period from the nineteenth century to the present day. Each tour focuses on different aspects of these religious sites, covering the history of the site, its architecture, rituals and practice, and beliefs. A common thread running through each site is the relationship between the individual sites and the larger Nashville community.