“Navigating the Sacred and Profane in American Popular Culture.” flier

“Navigating the Sacred and Profane in American Popular Culture.”

2012 Schedule

"History, Present and Future Channel" art by Ryan Harrinton

The 5th Annual Religions in Conversation Conference will explore the topic of Religion and Popular Culture related to this year’s 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?


This conference includes transdisciplinary research related to traditions represented by Claremont Graduate University’s religious councils: Catholicism, Coptic Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Protestantism, and Zoroastrianism, as well as other religious traditions.

Keynote Address

J. Gordon Melton
Distinguished Professor of American Religious History
Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University
Registration fees $10 registration for Claremont students, staff, and faculty (lunch included) $20 registration for non-Claremont attendees (lunch included)

Video introduction presented by Dean Tammi Schneider:

Please direct questions to the conference chair, Donald Westbrook, at religion.events@cgu.edu.

The School of Religion thanks the National Endowment for the Humanities and Claremont Graduate University’s Transdisciplinary Studies Program for generous support of the Fifth Annual Religions in Conversation Conference.

909.621.8085  |  religion.events@cgu.edu  |  www.cgu.edu/religionsinconversation