CFP: The Christian Evasion of Popular Culture

Following is a new CFP that might be of interest to churchandpomo readers:

Andreas Center for Reformed Scholarship and Service

THE CHRISTIAN EVASION OF POPULAR CULTURE

Christianity is often the focus of popular culture, whether it is through the blood and gore of The Passion of the Christ, the satire of South Park and Family Guy, or exposés of Jesus Camp or Religulous. The Christian community tends to respond by either ignoring popular culture or critiquing it moralistically through discussion about popular culture, rather than reflecting on our inescapable existence within it. Even those Christian perspectives that emphasize cultural transformation have a dearth of positive engagement with contemporary manifestations of culture. This tendency towards “evasion” forms a posture towards popular culture—we pray for it, we decry its excesses—that is at odds with the reality of our being immersed within popular culture: from food to fashion, guitars to guns, and pipe organs to orbiting telecommunication satellites. Every square inch of our lives is saturated by patterns and expressions of popular culture. To make culture is an inextricable part of our human identity that has too often been ignored within the Christian tradition.

This conference, which will take place at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, on November 1–3, 2012, will explore the Christian tendency to “evade” popular culture. Speakers and presenters will seek answers to questions like: Is it possible to be “in the world but not of the world”? How can the Christian community sustain the impulse of reformation with regard to the social and cultural aspects of human life? What are the implications of the Christian faith and the hope for ―new creation‖ with regard to the human proclivity to make culture?

Keynote speakers
Tony Jones – Theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Porch, Minneapolis, MN
Jason Lief – Professor of Theology and Youth Ministry, Dordt College
Peter Rollins – Philosopher, author of The Orthodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales
Andy Root – Olson Baalson Professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
Elaine Storkey – President of Tearfund, and Vice President of the University of Gloucestershire, UK

Call for Papers
The 2012 Conference on the Christian Evasion of Popular Culture at Dordt College invites the submission of papers that engage the intersection of Christian faith and popular culture. All people, including graduate students, scholars, clergy, and lay people, are invited to submit papers of a theoretical or practical nature, focusing on—but not limited to—the following topic areas:

Literary Theory
Cultural Theory
Practical and Pastoral Theology
Youth Culture
Film, Television, and Social Media
Gender Studies
Food
Sports and Sports Media
Art and Music
Fiction and Poetry
Fashion
Historical, Theological, and Philosophical
Engagements of Popular Culture

A 250-word abstract of the paper should be submitted to popculture@dordt.edu by May 1, 2012. Those accepted will be notified by June 1. For more information, please consult the conference website (http://www.dordt.edu/conference2012) or direct questions to the conference organizers at popculture@dordt.edu.