Joseph Laycock

JosephIn the Christian tradition, Joseph is the earthly father of Jesus and husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Laycock was a student at Harvard Divinity School when he began researching the religious diversity of Austin, TX. While the majority of immigrants to the U.S. arrive at gateway cities on the nation’s coasts, immigrants with education and resources are often drawn to “idea cities” that offer employment in software design and management consulting.

From 1990-2000, Austin added 85,907 foreign born people to its population, increasing the previous population by 56 percent. Business analysts indicate that Austin’s immigrant population has been a great boom to the city’s renowned tech industry. The culture of Austin has also been affected by this migration, and the last decade has seen the rise of many large templesA temple is a house of worship, a sacred space housing the deity or central symbol of the tradition. The Temple in Jerusalem was the holy place of the Jewish people until its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE; now the term “temple” is used by th. Ref... and mosquesMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit... as well as a flowering of interfaith dialogue and projects.

The centerpiece of this project was a report and collection of profiles on some of the city’s religious centers both old and new. Research was conducted with an eye towards some of the historical, economic, cultural, and political forces that have shaped the city and its religious landscape.

Selected Links and Publications