A call for papers for the Annual Graduate Student Conference in Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin is now out.
Magic, Miracles and the Paranormal in Religious Imaginaries
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
April 9-10, 2016
The University of Texas at Austin

Keynote Speakers:

  • Paul Mirecki, Kansas University
  • Kelly Hayes, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Call for Papers A fascination with the “otherworldly” pervades the religious imaginaries of nearly all societies and cultures whether it be via the allure of saints, superheroes, transcendent deities, ghosts, or magic spells. The continuing appeal of such beings and events is a testimony to how notions of the miraculous and the paranormal inform our place in the cosmic order. The prevalence of supernatural phenomena in religious discourse speaks to a preoccupation with an order of existence beyond the observable universe which invokes imagery that appears to transcend the laws of nature.This interdisciplinary conference is focused on representations of magic, miracles, and the supernatural in a variety of religious traditions throughout the course of history. We encourage paper submissions that address the weird and anomalous aspects of religion, ranging from marvels to paranormal encounters to spirit possession, and mystical experiences.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
• Theorizing the paranormal in religion
• The role of divination or prophecy in religion
• Demonology and angelology
• Lives of the Saints, martyrologies, and miracle narratives
• Sorcery, witchcraft, and wizardry in heresiological discourse
• Religious phenomena such as stigmata, visions, trances, presences, magic spells, and possessions
• The dialogue between SETI and religion
• Superheroes and theology

Submission Deadline – January 6, 2016
Papers must include:
paper title, name, department and institutional affiliation, 250-300 word abstract, 1-2 page CV, and any potential A/V needs.

Submit to:
[email protected]

Applicant Notification – January 25, 2016
Presentation time: 20 minute maximum

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