Studies in Religion: ‘Let’s see if we can go a whole day on the Road eating free food’: encountering the divine with Claire Dwyer in the private spaces of Richmond’s Highway to Heaven

One of my dearest mentors, the feminist geographer Claire Dwyer, died in 2019. It was shortly before a conference where we were supposed to have co-presented — Se faire une place dans la cité at UQAM — and I offered remarks there in her memory.

After that conference, I wrote an article on what Dwyer taught me about ethnographic fieldwork on the Road. It will be severely shortened and translated into French by the conference organizers for their book. I sent the full version in English to Studies in Religion with that proviso, and given that the chapter and the full-length article are substantially different (and in different languages), Studies in Religion put it through the pipeline. I was thrilled to learn that they had accepted it. It is now published online.

It means the world to me that Studies in Religion took the piece. For one, it is a way to commemorate Dwyer’s impact on my life as a phenomenal mentor. But for another, it was a reflexive piece on how the collaborative work on an interreligious stretch of road changed my own theological outlook, no doubt through Dwyer’s sense of care as a feminist geographer.

I hope the piece is of interest to those who are interested in the lived experience of inter-religious encounter.