CSRAC Hosts Second Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture
The Second Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture is slated for June 2-5, 2011, at the new JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.
Sponsored by the Center and by Religion & American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation, the purpose of the biennial conference series is to combine the insights of those working from different perspectives to help create new and better understandings of religion’s role in American life. The first Conference on Religion and American Culture, held in Indianapolis June 4-7, 2009, laid the foundation for the series, with a focus on recognizing disciplinary boundaries and exploring how scholars within those disciplines might learn from each other. Proceedings of those sessions are available for free on this website.
The overarching theme of this second conference will be “change.” Changing understandings of both religion and culture, as well as the effects these changes have on ways of thinking about religion’s role in American culture, will be the focus. “Most crucial is the change over the past few decades toward thinking about religion as it is expressed in everyday life, religion as lived experience,” said Philip Goff, Executive Director of the CSRAC.
“The conference will have three parts,” continued Goff. “Two opening sessions on changing definitions of religion and what this means for its study, four topical sessions where we play out this question in specific research areas, and then two sessions on what the future holds (or may hold). The 2009 conference was primarily about bringing together senior people from different disciplines to discuss the field broadly, and we succeeded. The meeting in 2011 is about bringing a similarly strong group together with much greater attention to what religion is coming to mean in America, and how this affects any effort to understand it.”
The conference will open June 2 with a reception in Osteria Pronto at the JW Marriott. The hotel, which opened in February, is Indianapolis’s newest and largest, with 1005 guest rooms in 34 stories and 104,000 square feet of meeting, banquet, and exhibit space. A special conference rate of $74.50 has been made available for a block of rooms, thanks to a grant from Lilly Endowment. Once that block of rooms is sold out, the rate will be $149 per night. (Please note that you will be asked for a credit card to guarantee your reservation. The rate of $74.50 is available to registered conference participants only, one discounted room per participant, and will not be applied until you check in at the hotel. This is so whether you make your reservation online or by phone.)
Conference registration before May 5 is recommended; registration fees increase from $85 professional and $45 student to $110 professional and $65 student after May 5. Onsite registration will be $130 professional and $80 student.