Call for Submissions
Religion and Popular Culture
Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture
At a time when many in the U.S. and around the world encounter religion as a polarizing subject, one especially revered by some and utterly contested by others, this issue of Reconstruction seeks to explore questions arising at the intersection of religious experience and popular culture. To engage the relationship of religion and popular culture requires discipline-based, trans-disciplinary, and inter-disciplinary approaches in order to interpret these broad ranges of human experience.
Over the past three decades, scholarship in the Humanities evaluating the relationships between religion and popular culture has increased dramatically. This particular issue seeks a broad array of perspectives that explore, analyze, and/or interpret the myriad interrelations and interactions that exist between religion and popular culture. Despite some recent attention, the role popular culture plays in religious experience is often undervalued. Popular culture not only presents and portrays religious ideas and norms, it also operates as both a vehicle and medium through which religious meaning is communicated and understood. Submissions need not be directed toward any particular religious tradition or geared for any single definition of religion. Instead, religion might be imagined in any (or none) of the following ways: as an expression of doctrinal beliefs and/or core values, as an on-going movement between an individual or community and a larger socio-cultural matrix, or as essentially a cultural construction. Theological investigations that engage cultural studies from a faith perspective are certainly encouraged. We also welcome perspectives that interrogate the stability of meaning(s) assigned to such terms ("culture," "religion," "popular," etc.) and their complex inter-relations.
Specifically, submissions should be framed with at least one of the following four rubrics in mind: religion within popular culture, popular culture within religion, religion as popular culture (and vice versa), or religion in tension with popular culture.
We welcome manuscripts that produce conversations engaging historical, ethnographic, normative, literary, anthropological, philosophical, artistic, political or other terms that elaborate a relationship between religion and popular culture. For example, submissions might investigate religious expression(s) in relation to any of the following realms of contemporary popular culture:
* Broadcast media (particularly religious broadcasting)
* Comic books
* Novels / poetry / short story
* Print media
* Internet / technology
* Popular art / architecture
* Sacred vs. profane space
* New religious movements/religious subcultures
* Socio-political religious movements (liberation theologies, Zionism, right-wing Evangelicalism, etc.)
Note: This list is representative, but certainly not exhaustive.
Please send proposals, abstracts, completed essays, multimedial performances, etc. to Nate Hinerman and Michael Benton at religionculture_at_gmail.com by 15 May 2009. We are happy to consider abstracts and proposals prior to this date. Publication is expected in the first quarter of 2010. All submissions are refereed. Papers must follow the Reconstruction guidelines for submission .
Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture (ISSN: 1547-4348) is an innovative online cultural studies journal dedicated to fostering an intellectual community composed of scholars and their audience, granting them all the ability to share thoughts and opinions on the most important and influential work in contemporary interdisciplinary studies. Reconstruction publishes three themed issues and one open issue quarterly. Reconstruction is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography.
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