Call for Papers: Navigating the Sacred and Profane in American Popular Culture

Fifth Annual Religions in Conversation Conference
Claremont Graduate University
School of Religion
Conference Date: Friday, February 24, 2012
Location: Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA

The School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University invites papers on the relationship between religion and popular culture. We encourage submissions based on our theme:

Navigating the Sacred and Profane in American Popular Culture

In recent years academics have paid increasing attention to the dynamic between religion and popular culture. This development is not surprising given the salience of religion in public consciousness and discourse, especially in the United States: from the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon and commercialized forms of Kabbalah to the Left Behind book series and Bill Maher’s Religulous, the topic is clearly relevant, not to mention marketable. The relationship between religion and popular culture engenders basic but important questions for scholars of religion: what are the demarcations and boundaries between religion and popular culture, between the sacred and profane? Do “religion,” “popular culture,” and “popular religiosity” name
separate categories? Or are they somehow related, intertwined, and at times even synonymous?

We invite proposals for papers on religion and American popular culture and are particularly interested in transdisciplinary research related to traditions represented by Claremont Graduate University’s religious
councils: Catholicism, Coptic Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Protestantism, and Zoroastrianism. The following are suggested research areas:

Print, Social Media, Radio, Television, and Film
Popular Culture and the Apocalyptic
New Religious Movements
“Material Religion” and “Lived Religion”

Send abstracts of no more than 200 words—along with a brief biography—to the conference chair, Donald Westbrook, at The subject line of your email should read “Proposal: 2012 Religions in Conversation Conference.”

Submission Deadline is October 15, 2011.

Presenters will be notified of acceptance by November 1, 2011.

For more information, contact Donald Westbrook at

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  • Amber Baker

    Hmm, the brain is mulling. How can I work RPGs, the rise of Geek culture and Creation theology together….hmmm.