Fictional Religions (in Film, Literature, and Other Media)
I am organizing a panel in response to this year's call for papers from the Religion and Popular Culture Unit of the American Academy of Religion. In particular, I am responding to the call for papers on the topic of "Fictional Religions in Film, Literature, and Other Media." The creation of fictional worldviews is a fascinating aspect of robust worldmaking and mythopoesis, and the phenomenon suggests all sorts of interesting questions about the relationship between artistic creativity and the religious imagination, the dis- or re-enchanted qualities of the secular, the role of mass media in forming our worldviews, ways of life, and identities, and other issues. You might propose a paper on a particular fictional or invented religion by a specific writer, filmmaker, or other artist, or you might reflect more broadly on a class of fictional worldviews, their relationship to fiction-based religions and fandoms, the cognitive, social, economic, or political conditions that enable the phenomenon, or the phenomenon in general. If you are interesting in joining me in submitting a panel proposal, please contact me by February 23rd with your 1,000-word proposal and 150-word abstract because I will need time to draft a 1,000-word proposal that links the different papers together into a cohesive panel.