We are again scrambling to get our Research in Religious Studies Conference organized, with some excellent paper proposals rolling in. We are on the look out for more, however! The conference will be held at the University of Calgary, May 8-9, just prior to the annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (May 9-11). Participation is open to undergraduate and Masters level students and papers on any topic touching on religion from any academic discipline will certainly be considered. The deadline is April 4, but we may consider extending it beyond then.
Here’s a few abstracts we’ve already accepted:
“The Dark Messiah and the Devotee:
Salomé, Aubrey Beardsley, and the ‘Decadent Religion of Art.’”
Morgan Hopkins, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
Aubrey Beardsley was a quintessential symbol of fin-de-siècle England, a decade characterized by feverish discourse on sexuality, transition, spiritual ambiguity, decadence, and exoticism. Pre-eminent Beardsleyan scholar, Dr. Chris Snodgrass, has described the artist as being a proponent of the “ruling order of the decadents—an artistic coterie dedicated to the new Religion of Art,” (Snodgrass, 1995). But what exactly is ‘Decadence?’ What is the ‘Religion of Art?’ Furthermore, how do these influences manifest within Beardsley’s praxis? This paper explores not only the nuances and ambiguities of these movements, but also the ways in which Beardsley’s art facilitates a dialogic relationship between them. It considers the extent of his ‘devotion’ through an iconographical and theoretical analysis of six of his illustrations for the English version of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé. This work challenges traditional interpretations not only of the movements, but also of Beardsley himself, and the infamous femme fatale Salomé. Ultimately, it posits the Religion of Art as one of the many new transcendent principles of organization established during the ‘Victorian Religious Unsettlement.’
The Evolution of Creationism:
A Reaction to Evolutionary Influence in America
Jesse Pawlak, Red Deer College
According to a recent Gallup poll, 78% of Americans believe in some variety of Creationism (Gallup). Of this, 46% believe in a literalistic biblical approach while 32% believe there to be some element of intelligent design within the evolutionary process. (Gallup). With such a staggering number of Americans in favor of some variety of creationism, it may be surprising to learn that American creationism is not the original theory explaining the origins of life. The theory of evolution, in fact, predates the birth of coherent American creationism by over fifty years. American creationism only appears in the early twentieth century in reaction to the spread of evolution in America (Lienesch 8). This paper will discuss the how the three most prominent branches of creationism, (fundamentalist creationism, creation science and intelligent design) emerge in reaction to the spread of the theory of evolution in America. Each branch will be discussed in turn with an emphasis on how the methodology and function of each changes in response to conflict with the theory of evolution.
Anyway, still time to propose a paper. Get to it!