Religion and Power - Graduate Conference PROPOSALS DUE JAN. 10

full name / name of organization: 
Indiana University Religious Studies Graduate Department
contact email: 

Religion and Power: Unleashing the Force

February 24-25, 2011

A Conference of the Graduate Department of Religious Studies, Indiana University-Bloomington

"Fundamentalism isn't about religion, it's about power." โ€“ Salman Rushdie

"The Bible says that as believers, the same Spirit that raises Christ from the dead dwells in us. That is tremendous power! We activate that power by the faith in our hearts and the words of our mouths." โ€“ Victoria Osteen, megachurch pastor (Lakewood Church)

"Wind advocates see breath of Holy Spirit in turbines' clean energy" โ€“ Kat McCullough, Religion News Service

"We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers."
- William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra)

The Religious Studies Department at Indiana University invites papers for a graduate symposium investigating the intersections of power and religion. We want to explore and question this relationship in all its complexities and welcome interdisciplinary interpretations of the subject. The category of power should be considered broadly to include operational energy, people in authority, capacity, coercion, the work of theorists like Foucault, superpowers, spiritual animation of the physical world, physical animation of the spiritual world, and other obvious and obscure iterations of the category.

Paper proposals of no more than 500 words are due January 10, 2011. Submissions may be made electronically to

Thursday February 24th

Keynote address:

"The Power of the Meta-narrative: Co-authoring a Textbook on Religious History"
Sylvester Johnson (IU-Bloomington), Rachel Wheeler (IUPUI), and Philip Goff (IUPUI)
5:30-6:30 pm

Friday February 25th
Panel presentations
9 am - 4 pm