The Company You Keep: Reading, Writing, & Socializing in Religious Literature

deadline for submissions: 
May 31, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
SAMLA 93/Southeast Conference on Christianity and Literature
contact email: 

CFP for SAMLA 93, November 4-6, 2021, Atlanta, GA

The Company You Keep: Reading, Writing, & Socializing in Religious Literature

Affiliate Group: Southeast Conference on Christianity and Literature

Literature is rife with the concept of the “social,” whether it be through exclusion or connection. The Bible records letters sent, Church History preserves the ways in which communities gathered and encouraged one another regardless of distance, and Christian writers have invested heavily in understanding the topic of community and social structures. This panel welcomes submissions that address the topics of intimacy, community, or exile. We welcome papers exploring literary works that engage with Christianity (or religion broadly) on the idea of the “social.” Papers might consider one or more of the following:

  • Definitions of community in the writings of A. J. Mojtabai
  • Social networks, broadly conceived, in the writings of Walker Percy
  • Letter writing between authors as a source for inspiration (i.e. the letters of Ernest Hemingway)
  • News or gossip in relation to community connections (i.e. gossip in the works of William Faulkner or the importance of the news in James Fenimore Cooper’s writing)
  • Exile and reconciliation in American Catholic fiction (i.e. J. F. Powers and Harry Sylvester)
  • The nature and definition of exilic literature (or literary depictions of characters in exile)
  • The question of authenticity in religious literature
  • Ways that literary texts comfort the reader or challenge religious traditions
  • The conventions and techniques of religious literature and their adaptation over time and distance
  • How religious writers turn to other religious traditions for resources of community or inspiration
  • The relationship between society and exile in religion
  • Pedagogical approaches to religious literature
  • The nature of communities built around the reading of good books
  • Creative writing submissions addressing the panel theme are also welcome


Please send a 250-word proposal, a CV, and any A/V requests to Sean C. Hadley at (For creative writing submissions, please submit the full work to be read and not an abstract). All abstracts or creative writing submissions are due May 31.