Deana Weibel

Society Track: Deana Weibel, Grand Valley State University, Anthropology and Religious Studies: “Ablutions Without Water and the Hidden Mezuzah: The Modification of Religious Rituals While Traveling in Outer Space"

Because human societies are largely religious, many participants in space travel have also been religious, creating situations where religious devotions and rituals have had to be modified to make them more compatible with the specific restrictions and characteristics of space travel. This presentation will consider transformations to Jewish, Islamic and Christian practices that have taken place during NASA and Roscosmos missions, both those in the public record and those encountered during the presenter’s ethnographic research interviews with a number of American astronauts. The implications for the future of religious activity in space will also be discussed.