Education and Arts

Call for papers and presentations

Grounding the Sacred through Literature and the Arts Conference 2015

'The sacred' is a term we often use when we want to talk about God, about worship, and about the mystery that defies naming but which has the power to transform our understanding of life.

The Grounding the Sacred conference asks how literature and the arts can make the sacred tangible: are they a conduit between the divine and the everyday, a means of enabling us to touch the sacred? Do the arts offer a way of structuring - earthing - our experiences of the sacred? Do they provide a common ground for people of different faiths - or maybe none - to explore the ineffable? And where does creativity sit in relation to religion and the search for meaning? Are a sense of the sacred and the means to express it essential for human flourishing?

Abstracts of 250 words are invited for 20-minute papers and presentations that address the conference theme. They may be from artists talking about their work as it expresses the sacred; from researchers seeking to explain the relationship between creativity, religion and well-being; and from interpreters bringing to light the sacred dimensions of pre-existing creative works. Abstracts should be sent to Elaine Lindsay at, using the subject header 'SLA 2015 abstract'. Submissions should include the author's name, affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of abstract, and a short biography. Acceptances should be advised by 10 April 2015. Note that, although the initial deadline for submissions was 27 February, late offers of papers will be considered: send your proposals, as above, to, at your earliest opportunity.

Please note that there are no funds available to assist paper-givers' travel and accommodation. While the conference is essentially self-supporting, registration fees will be kept to a minimum, with reduced rates for students and concession card be advised.

Selected conference contributors may be invited to expand upon their work for a special 2016 Australian edition of the Oxford journal Literature and Theology, which will be edited by Michael Griffith and Elaine Lindsay. Presenters who wish to have their work considered for inclusion should forward their full papers (up to 6,000 words) to by 31 May 2015, using the subject header 'L&T 2016 paper'. Please follow the journal's instructions on formatting, to be found on its website.

Inquiries can be directed to the conveners of the 2015 Grounding the Sacred through Literature and the Arts Conference, Associate Professor Michael Griffith ( and Dr Elaine Lindsay (, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University.