(dis)Connected: A Podcast Series on Society and Spirituality in the Modern World

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Riley, Jessikah
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
This project is an eleven-episode podcast series created to explore the cognitive basis of relationship formation and religious processing. I aimed to address questions revolving around why socialization is important to human beings, what factors contribute to relationship formation, and how we are able to form relationships with invisible supernatural beings. The first part of the series spotlights human connections: why we need them, what factors reinforce them, and what happens when we do not have them to a degree sufficient enough to sustain us. I interviewed experts to gain an understanding of how the brain works and how we form social relationships. In the second part, the neural frameworks that make religion possible are discussed with a scholar of religion and the mechanisms of religious practices with religious leaders. The last four episodes contain individuals’ accounts of their own lives, connections, and religious thoughts.