The project will elaborate a common framework for analyzing and comparing case studies, considering four dimensions, which should be used in the publications derived from this project: (1) historical context: to what extent current developments recreate or build on long-term patterns and networks of inter-Asian connections; (2) geopolitical context: to what extent current circulations are enhanced, restricted or shaped by state actors and geopolitical strategies of state and religious actors; (3) civilizational imaginations and identity formations: to what extent the circulations express or contribute to the elaboration of identity formations that revive, invent, or respond to the imagination of past or future empires, civilizations or cosmological/religious political formations. (4) material and infrastructural context: to what extent current circulations are shaped by the development of infrastructures.
This latter dimension applies theories and concepts developed within the fields of Science, Technology and Society (STS) and the sociology of mobilities, to develop a conceptual framework within which the case studies will be conducted, and allowing their comparison and analysis. This framework will develop the concepts of “religious technologies,” “religious mobilities,” “religious infrastructures” and “religious socio-technical systems.” (Edgerton 2011, Edquist 1997, Hughes 1986, Jasanoff 2004, Simone 2004, Star 1999) These concepts focus on interactions between humans and technical systems including physical infrastructures, administrative and financial systems, the internet and communication technologies, training systems, and so on. Moving from a focus on religion as individual belief and/or bounded groups of people, this approach will focus on the production of forms of subjectivity, ethics and self-construction through techniques of the mind, body and ritual, implying changing forms of individualization, standardization and diversification. These religious techniques are extended through traditional and modern apprenticeship, training, media, organizations and networks, whose spatial coverage is mediated by transportation, financial and communications infrastructures as well as networks of human mobility (Mostowlanski 2017).