Thank-you for joining us on the journey in our postsecular city!
Since July 9, 2010, the mission of A Journey through NYC religions is to explore, document and explain through our online magazine and other educational programs the great religious changes that are taking place in New York City. We are traveling down all 6,374.9 miles of our city's streets, every alleyway and quite a few hallways to map and photograph every religious site and to interview clergy and lay leaders at the sites.
Please feel free to make comments or contact us with suggestions and updates at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our journey we often run across people, religious or non-religious, who have no idea how thick NYC culture is with religious faith. We hope that by showing the incredible variety and number of faith details about the city that people will understand more deeply how such details contribute to the excitement to the city.
We are like the animators at Pixar studio. They are pushing constantly to increase their ability to digitally increase the details in animation. The more small, invisible to the eye, details that are included, the more that the eye unconsciously ”sees” the animation as having a supple, natural reality. On the big picture screen you may not be able to see the nose hairs, but their presence is processed by the mind into a feeling of naturalness. We too hope to paint into the city picture the thick faith details of the city so that people will “see” the natural, spiritual excitements of the city.
The religious image of modern New York City has gone through three phases. First, many people, including New Yorkers, saw the city as a "Sodom and Gomorrah." In the 1960s the theologian Harvey Cox declared that New York City was "the secular city." Today, it is very hard to say that the city is like the old Sodom and Gomorrah or secular. There is too much civic moral order and too many manifestations of religious interest. We are not yet a New Jerusalem or New Mecca, but we aren't the secular city anymore either. We think that the most fitting characterization of contemporary New York City is "postsecular," a condition somewhere between the secular and sacred cities.
A Journey through NYC religions is a non-profit corporation dedicated to serving as an incubator and educator for new ways of doing religion reporting and understanding the postsecular city. To serve these purposes Journey also runs Journey Data Center and Journey Workshops.
One of the most rewarding things that we do is giving recognition to the many faithful religious leaders who are unheralded by anyone except for the people they directly help. There are no headlines about their compassion; the rest of us barely notice them, perhaps, as we pass by their places of worship and community compassion outreach. When we knock on their door and ask for their story, the response is often very emotional, "Thank-you! We never knew anyone noticed or cared for what we do. Your recognition is so encouraging!" As we listen to these outpourings of gratitude, we are dumbstruck that just our presence can mean so much. Our articles and videos seem to light a fire in the hearts of people that we cover. We hardly do anything compared to the efforts of these doctors and nurses of compassion in our streets and alleyways!
If you feel in a generous spirit and have the means, we welcome any support that you can provide so that we can journey and give recognition to those who humbly and sacrificially help their neighbors. Prayers, your best wishes, tips. If you want to monetarily support this non-profit mission of giving recognition and encouragement, we welcome your material support! Your contribution is fully tax deductible under the rules of the IRS code 501(c)(3) for non-profits.
Thanks also to the Values Research Institute, who helped to get us started, though it is not formally related to A Journey through NYC religions. The institute has objectively documented and analyzed religion in New York City since 1989.