To Ring or Not to Ring: What COVID-19 Taught Us about Religious Heritage Soundscapes in the Community

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Abstract

Despite church bell ringing being directly influenced by purposive human action, often as a liturgical function, it creates a community soundscape with ascribed heritage values. While general heritage management processes and decisions are informed by heritage professionals with a broader range of experience, we find that church bell ringing is contrary to this process. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how a stochastic disruptive event can dramatically alter soundscapes on a community-wide scale. Here, the effective power over bell ringing often rested with the individual clergy at the local level and is subject to that individual’s personal preferences. This has serious implications to non-traditional forms of heritage, such as intangible sounds and soundscapes. In realizing the value of sound signals and soundmarks, we highlight the need to formally recognize these sounds of religious settings and consider them in heritage frameworks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1676-1686
Number of pages11
JournalHeritage
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

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