CFP: Digital Sacred Texts: Materiality, Performance

Digital Sacred Texts: Materiality, Performance, Theory

26–27 May 2020
Dublin City University (Dublin, Ireland)
DCU School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music

The “digital turn” continues to have far-reaching implications, including for the use of sacred texts: from individuals to religious communities to academia, people are increasingly engaging with scriptures in digital formats. For many, this shift from print to digital culture is understood primarily in terms of content: texts are seen as moving from one receptacle (books) to another (electronic formats). There are, however, other important aspects of this transition to consider, including issues of materiality, iconicity, and performance. Texts do not become immaterial when moved to digital formats, but instead are encountered in new material forms. What is gained or lost when a text is used in digital formats, as compared to print culture? How is personal, ritual, or scholarly engagement with sacred texts impacted by the digital turn? Important questions related to the material, performative, and iconic dimensions of sacred texts continue to emerge, even in the digital world.

semantic, performative, and iconic dimensions of Scriptures in digital formats
the transition from print to digital, including technological, social, and religious factors
reflection on the materiality of sacred texts in light of digital and electronic formats
the use of digital scriptures in personal, liturgical, ritual, academic, and public contexts
sacred texts, the internet, and digital devices
machine translation and sacred texts
critical editions in light of the digital turn 
reception history and digital culture
digital humanities and sacred texts
digitization and the accessibility of texts 
scriptural literacy and digital culture
sacred texts and digital pedagogy

The School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music at Dublin City University, in collaboration with the Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts (SCRIPT), is pleased to announce a conference exploring “Digital Sacred Texts”, to be held in Dublin, Ireland, on 26-27 May 2020. This conference will focus on sacred texts (broadly understood) and digital culture, giving particular attention to issues of materiality, performance, and theory. Paper proposals are welcome in areas related, but not limited to, the following:


Paper proposals should be submitted as an abstract of no more than 300 words. These should be submitted (in Word or PDF format) via email to, by 10 October 2019. PhD students/postgraduates should include an up-to-date CV (max 4 pages). Early registration deadline: 3 April 2020.