Religious History

Sensory Cultures and the Communication of Belief - RHA Conference

Conference of the Religious History Association, Canberra 3 July 2018 (in association with the Australian Historical Association Conference 2-6 July 2018) 


  • The keynote speaker will be Katherine Butler Schofield, King’s College London, on “If There is a Heaven on Earth”: Music, Mortality, and Liminal Spaces in Eastern Islam


The Religious History Association invites presentations that explore the material and sensory dimensions of the communication of belief. 

 Our knowledge of devotional practices and rituals, and of beliefs and attitudes, can be enriched by exploring the material and sensory heritage through which religions are interpreted, expressed and understood. We are especially interested in how the material aspects of religion, such as music, movement, architecture, objects, foodways, and clothing, as well as sensory responses to these material forms, express and translate religious commitment. 

We welcome papers that look particularly at how material and sensory practices shape and express the dynamics of religious belief across geographical areas, eras of history or between distinct communities; that explore cross-cultural and interfaith exchanges, including the re-interpretation of religious texts, art or artefact in missionary encounters; and in diverse social and cultural contexts. Papers may also examine how objects or devotional practices are the products of encounter between diverse religious cultures and exchanges.

Proposals for 20 minute individual papers, panels (3 x 15 minute papers with chair and respondent), and roundtables (90 minute conversation by several scholars on an issue, book or object) are welcome. 

CFP Deadline: 12 March 2018

Proposals should be uploaded through the Australian Historical Association conference site: , indicating RHA Stream.

Participants will be invited to submit papers to the Journal of Religious History. 

Download the PDF flyer here.

Photo by Catherine Schieve from the Karen Buddhist Veneration of the Elders at Nhill Victoria

Photo by Catherine Schieve from the Karen Buddhist Veneration of the Elders at Nhill Victoria