S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate

Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies, S. Brent Plate, recently gave invited presentations at several international venues.

For the Implicit Religion Conference in Salisbury, England, Plate gave the keynote address, the Edward Bailey memorial lecture. Plate presented work based on his recent book Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-creation of the World.

The conference has met annually for 40 years, developing research stemming from the late Edward Bailey’s critical construction of what he termed “implicit religion,” finding sacred behaviors, values, and commitments in seemingly secular surroundings.

Plate was also invited to be a respondent at “Books as Sacred Beings,” an international conference hosted by Seoul National University. He responded to a series of papers on the ways scriptures from Daoist, Christian, and Hindu traditions function as sacred entities in their construction and public performances. The conference connected work in Seoul with ongoing work by members of the Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts, of which Plate is president.

While at Seoul National University, Plate discussed his publications on religion and film with students in an introduction to religion course. Some of the work was being used in the course and had been translated into Korean, giving students the opportunity to discuss with Plate a number of issues related to the religious dimensions of cinema. 

Most recently, under the auspices of the annual St. Petersburg Cultural Forum, Plate was one of several scholars and curators working at the intersection of religion and museums invited to present papers on the topic. The event was part of the celebration of the 85th anniversary of the State Museum for the History of Religion in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Plate presented some of the material he began in his co-edited book Religion in Museums, and has extended through his research on the topic. The research investigates what happens to religious objects as they are put on display in museums, and how this process transforms the public understanding of religion.

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