Multimedia reporting by Ginna Royalty
Eleven scholars from all over North America will be gathering at Elon University Feb. 9-11 to discuss a not-so-common topic: the apocalypse. The symposium titled, “On the Edge of Apocalypse: New Directions in the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion” is sponsored by the Elon University Center for the Study of Religion, Culture and Society (CSRCS) and scholars will be exploring the edges of apocalyptic thought and practice. The symposium will take place in the McBride Room of the Numen Lumen Pavilion.
“Elon is committed to educating the community about the role of religious ideas in society and to advancing research—by both students and faculty—about the role of religion in society,” said Brian Pennington, CSRCS Director and Elon professor of religious studies.
This symposium is an opportunity for Elon faculty to collaborate with other academics from the U.S. and Canada on a common research project.
“We have scholars who study many religious traditions—from Christianity to Islam to Hinduism—as well as those who study popular culture,” said Pennington.
Papers and talks by the scholars are incredibly varied, ranging from the television show “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” to Hindu fans of Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter.
Elon faculty members Lynn Huber, associate professor of religious studies, and Tom Mould, professor of anthropology, are the central conveners of this group of scholars and helped shape the three-day conference.
“Since Dr. Tom Mould and I both work on apocalyptic narratives, we proposed the idea for ‘On the Edge of Apocalypse,'” Huber said. “We hoped that it would spark interest among our colleagues and be something that some students might find interesting as well.”
As part of the symposium, there will be a poster session for Elon students doing research on religion to receive feedback on their own projects. Students, faculty, and the general public are invited to attend a keynote address by David Cook of Rice University on Feb. 9.