Abstract submission open: November 2023
Registration opens: January 2024
Abstract submission deadline: February 15, 2024
Early bird registration deadline: TBA
Conference dates: August 19-23, 2024
Siv Ellen Kraft is a professor of Religious Studies at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, in Tromsø, Northern Norway/Sápmi on the Norwegian side. Her research is centered on contemporary indigenous religion(s) in Sápmi, and on the rethinking of ‘indigenous religion(s)’ as a category and a field of study. It has taken an ecological turn over recent years, subsequent to increasing climate- and nature-related conflicts, some of which involve sacred claims and religious registers.
Kraft is the author of six monographs (two of which are co-written). She has co-edited seven books, and has written numerous articles. She is a member of The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and the Holberg Prize Board.
Selected key publications relevant to the conference theme
Kraft, S.E. (forthcoming). ‘Cathedralizing Nature, Ecologizing Sacred Grounds: A Case Study from Sápmi on the Norwegian Side’, The Journal of Religion, Nature and Culture.
Kraft, S.E. 2023. ‘Global Indigeneity on the Move: The World Drum — Afterlives, Drift Matter and Object Agency’, Temenos: Nordic Journal for the Study of Religion.
Kraft, S.E. 2022. Indigenous Religion(s) in Sápmi: Reclaiming Sacred Grounds, Routledge. 2022)
Kraft, S.E., B.O. Tafjord, A. Longkumer, G. Alles and G. Johnson. 2020. Indigenous Religion(s): Local grounds, global Networks, Routledge.
Kraft, S.E. & G. Johnson. 2018. ‘Standing Rock Religion(s): Ceremonies, Social Media and Music Videos’. Numen 65.
Kraft S.E. & G. Johnson (eds.). Handbook of Indigenous Religion(s), Brill.
Kraft, S.E. 2020. ‘Spiritual Activism. Saving Mother Earth in Sápmi’. Religions 11(7).
Laura Feldt is Associate Professor of the Study of Religion, University of Southern Denmark. She is author of The Fantastic in Religious Narrative (Routledge, 2012), Ancient Wilderness Mythologies – Nature, Narrative and Identity Formation from the Babylonians to the Late Antique Christians (fc. 2024) and editor of i.a. Wilderness in Mythology and Religion (2012), Marginality, Media and Mutations of Religious Authority in the History of Christianity (2019, with J.N. Bremmer). She has also authored research articles and special issues on narratives of wild nature, the fantastic and monstrous in ancient religions and in contemporary popular culture.
Her empirical research foci are philologically-based analyses of sources from ancient Mesopotamia, the Hebrew Bible and 2nd Temple Judaisms, and ancient Christianity, as well as contemporary popular culture. Her focus on wilderness mythologies and the relations between religion and non-human environments in the ancient and contemporary world led to the formation of the SDU Environmental Humanities Network in 2021. Recently, she has taken an interest in the intersections between emotionality and narrativity in radical religion in her work as the PI of the collective research project (www.sdu.dk/radrel) Total Devotion – Passions and Plots in Radical Religion in the Ancient World (2021-2024), funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. From 2017 to the end of 2021, she was Editor-in-Chief of Numen – International Review of the History of Religions (Brill) (w/ G.D. Alles and Ü. Valk). She is also the current President of the Danish Association for the Study of Religions.
Bron Taylor is Professor of Religion and Environmental Ethics at the University of Florida and a Fellow of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany. For 13 years and until he earned a Ph.D. in Religion (Social Ethics) from the University of Southern California in 1988, he served as an Ocean Lifeguard and Peace Officer within the California State Department of Parks and Recreation, regularly surfing along the southern California coast.
Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on the connections between what people construe as ‘nature’ and ‘religion,’ and especially, on the emotional and spiritual dimensions of environmental movements, and he has led and participated in a variety of international initiatives promoting the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. He has published dozens of articles in journals and books and has presented over 100 keynote or invited lectures in 20 countries. His books include Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future (2010), which has been translated into German and Italian, the award-winning Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (2005), Ecological Resistance Movements: the Global Emergence of Radical and Popular Environmentalism (1995), Avatar and Nature Spirituality (2013), Civil Society in an Age of Monitory Democracy (2013) and Affirmative Action at Work: Law, Politics and Ethics (1992). His wide-ranging writings include analyses of Surfing as “aquatic nature religion,” including as a chapter in Dark Green Religion.
Taylor has led several scholarly initiatives, including to create an academic major in Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, a Ph.D. program in Religion and Nature at the University of Florida, and in 2006 he founded the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture and its Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, which began publishing in 2007. In 2017, he received a Lifetime Achievement award from the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. Since then he has focused on the entanglements of religion and nature, for example, by editing the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (2005) founding and editing Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (since 2007), and through his well-known book, Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future (2010).
For downloadable articles, his blog, and further information, see www.brontaylor.com and at X (formerly Twitter) @BronTaylor
Terry Gunnell is Professor emeritus in Folkloristics at the University of Iceland. Author of The Origins of Drama in Scandinavia (1995), he is editor of Masks and Mumming in the Nordic Area (2007), Legends and Landscape (2008), and Grimm Ripples: The Legacy of the Grimms’ Deutsche Sagen in Northern Europe (2022), and co-editor of The Nordic Apocalypse: Approaches to Völuspá and Nordic Days of Judgement (2013) and Málarinn og menningarsköpun: Sigurður Guðmundsson og Kvöldfélagið 1858–1874 which was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Award in 2017.
Professor Jeffrey Kripal, Rice University
Jeffrey J. Kripal is the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. He also helps direct the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California and sits on numerous advisory boards in the U.S. and Europe involving the nature of consciousness and the human, social, and natural sciences. Most recently, Jeff is the author of The Superhumanities: Historical Precedents, Moral Objections, New Realities (Chicago, 2022), where he intuits an emerging order of knowledge that can engage in robust moral criticism but also affirm the superhuman or nonhuman dimensions of our histories and futures. His forthcoming book is How to Think Impossibly: About Souls, UFOs, Time, Belief, and Everything Else (Chicago, 2024). He is presently working on a three-volume study of paranormal currents in the sciences, modern esoteric literature, and the hidden history of science fiction collectively entitled The Super Story: Science (Fiction) and Some Emergent Mythologies. His full body of work can be seen at http://jeffreyjkripal.com He thinks he may be Spider-Man.