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CFP: Conference on “Sacred Literature, Secular Religion

The Le Moyne College Religion and Literature Forum

Sacred Literature, Secular Religion: A Conference on Cultural Practices
October 1-3, 2015

Call for Papers:

Charles Taylor recently claimed that we live in “a secular age,” one in which a wide range of religious practices – and ways to opt out of those practices – are available. Today we might follow traditional forms of observance, establish new kinds of worship that are not strictly religious, or reject devotional pursuits altogether. Is Taylor right, or have these options always existed in varying degrees, in various periods and places?

This conference explores how religious and secular concerns overlap and inform modes of belief and forms of pious (and impious) expression. Rather than approach the sacred and the secular in dualistic terms, we seek ways to understand how the categories intersect and criss-cross. Rather than simply map religion onto literature or vice versa, we invite papers that conceptualize and describe the interrelation between the two. We welcome diverse ways of framing and pursuing the conference theme and hence encourage contributions from scholars not only in literary and religious  studies, but also from visual studies, history, philosophy, psychology, archeology, and elsewhere, both within and across religious traditions and in the public sphere.

We welcome papers from graduate and undergraduate students.

Send 300-word proposals to:

  • Jennifer Gurley, Department of English, Le Moyne College ( and
  • William Robert, Department of Religion, Syracuse University (

Deadline for proposals: March 1, 2015
Notification: April 1, 2015
Conference Schedule

  • Thursday, October 1 at 4 p.m. through Saturday, October 3 at 9 p.m. 

  • Central New York Wine Country Tour (optional) on Sunday, October 4 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.