Romantic Religions: Re-evaluating Secularism in the Romantic Era

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2024
contact email: 

Please consider submitting an abstract for the NeMLA session "Romantic Religions: Re-evaluating Secularism in the Romantic Era" (55th Annual NeMLA Convention March 7th in Boston, MA). The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2023. You can submit an abstract for this session here:

Session Abstract: How does our understanding of religion in the Romantic era shape our interpretation and evaluation of Romantic thought and literature? How might we reconsider Romantic literature within the contexts of religious surplus in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries?

In his Natural Supernaturalism (1971), M. H. Abrams had identified the moment of Romanticism as “a decisive turn in Western culture,” a turn that assimilated and reinterpreted “religious ideas, as constitutive elements in a world view founded on secular premises” (13-14). More recently, the study of Romanticism and religion has reached a critical juncture, as recent scholars have introduced new ways of thinking about concepts of “religion” and “secularism.”

Hoping to further or challenge these explorations, this panel is an invitation to an interdisciplinary conversation that might go in a number of directions. Proposals (of roughly 300 words, accompanied by a short vita) on British, American, and continental Romanticisms are welcome. Possible topics could include, but are by no means limited to, areas of inquiry such as:

- New interpretative approaches to religion and Romantic literature;

- Interdisciplinary concerns or interventions in past or ongoing critical debates;

- Considerations of Romanticism and religious thought, including Christian and non-Christian (and non-Western) theologies and philosophies;

- Re-evaluations of the relationships between Romanticism and literary, historical, artistic, philosophical, or scientific modes of expression.