UW News

March 8, 2007

Religion the topic of planned conference, ‘Communicating the Sacred’

A group of graduate students is organizing a daylong conference on interdisciplinary dialogue on religion.

“Communicating the Sacred” is scheduled for April 18 in Room 126 of the Communication Building.

The organizing group, led by six students from different religious backgrounds, has issued a call for abstracts. Fields may include religious studies, anthropology, sociology, psychology, cultural studies and American studies, but other fields are welcome as well.

“We really want to get diverse panels that include not just different disciplines but different religions,” said organizer Laura Busch, a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Communication. She researches the effect of the internet on Buddhist communities.

So far, said Busch, her group has received abstracts on religious experience, religious community, and religion and conflict.

Other conference organizers include Laurel Gordon, a master’s student researching nontraditional Christian religions in Russia and Eastern Europe since the fall of communism; Jennifer Callaghan, a master’s student researching the reaction of American Catholics to the Second Vatican Council; Charles Richter, a master’s student researching Russian Orthodoxy; Penelope Sheets, a doctoral student researching politicians’ use of rhetorical cues; and Fahed Al-Sumait, a doctoral student researching Middle Eastern affairs.

Conference submissions, limited to UW graduate and undergraduate students, will be accepted until March 15. Submit online at the conference Web site (http://staff.washington.edu/lbusch/ComRelig/conference.htm) or send a hard copy to Laura Busch, UW Dept. of Communication, Box 353740, Seattle, Wa., 98195.

The conference is sponsored by the Department of Communication, the Comparative Religion Program and the Learning for Leadership Council.