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. As a phenomenological researcher, I 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, I transformed their interviews into digital stories which were sent to participants as a “gift of empathy”, as well as uploaded onto the website www.storiesoffaithstoriesofhumanity.com to facilitate widespread empathy among the public. I also wrote an existential-hermeneutic phenomenological interpretation about the essence of faith as a shared human experience across religious and spiritual affiliations. The interpretation was also published to the website, in efforts to emphasize the common humanity that exists across members of different faith communities.
This phenomenological, digital storytelling, research project aspired 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 digital stories online.
This project was made possible by funding from a generous co-sponsorship grant from New York University’s Center for Spiritual Life.