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The 2024 International Conference on Religion and Film

Religion and Film: Past and Future

June 27-28, 2024


  • Early Bird Registration:
    January 11-March 15: $199.00
    ($99.00-verified student or retiree)
  • Regular Registration:
    March 16-May 1: $249.00
    ($125.00-verified student or retiree)
  • Late Registration:
    May 2-May 26: $299.00
    ($150.00 verified student or retiree)
  • Final Registration:
    May 27-June 20: $319.00
    ($180.00 verified student or retiree)

Registration includes academic sessions, four break time snacks for each of the two days on Fuller Seminary's campus, a screening at the nearby Landmark Theater, and a closing night banquet.

Refunds: Full refund until April 15th; Partial refund until May 31st; No refunds after June 1st.

Full Day, Pre-Conference Hollywood Tour - June 26

  • $99.00 (until March 15), $125 (after until May 1), limited to the first 25 registrants
    The tour is currently full. Please contact contact Dr. Jeanette Reedy Solano at [email protected] if you would like to be added to the waitlist.

For further questions contact [email protected]. More details regarding conference schedule, discount hotel options, and the Hollywood tour will be published soon.


The International Conference on Religion & Film fosters intellectual stimulation, builds networks, and advances scholarship related to Religion and Film Studies. Every conference invites papers that explore the intersection of religion and film through the analysis of individual films, genre studies, religious themes in films, the representation of religion in film, and functionalistic approaches of film as religion.

Given the unique location of the 2024 conference in Hollywood, California, we invite papers which take into account the rich history of this location as well as the ways emerging technologies will influence the future of filmmaking in Hollywood and around the world.

Full Day, Pre-Conference Hollywood Tour

Update: There are 3 more spaces on tour. If you would like to join us email Dr. Jeanette Reedy Solano at [email protected]by 6/19.

For those who choose to participate, on Wednesday, June 26, we will be offering a rich, full-day tour to learn about historic Hollywood and much more. Highlights of the tour include visiting The Academy Museum and a tour of Hollywood Blvd's historic movie palaces and other sites.

Space is limited and an additional nominal fee will be charged to cover breakfast and lunch, coach transportation, museum tickets, etc. Tour highlights include:

  • Hollywoodland: Jewish Founders and the Making of a Movie Capital at the Academy Museum
  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery: Founded in 1899, the cemetery was an integral part of the growth of early Hollywood. Many Hollywood founders and legends are buried there: from Douglas Fairbanks to Judy Garland. Hollywood Forever was listed on the National Register of Historic Sites in 1999.
  • Visit historic movie palaces on Hollywood Blvd and the Walk of Fame.
  • And more!


June 26: Full-day Hollywood Tour (9AM-approximately 9PM)
June 27: Full day of papers, panels, and screenings (9AM-approximately 9PM, with breaks)
June 28: Full day of papers, panels, and Founders Banquet (9AM-10PM, with breaks)

Special Guests

Nick VallelongaNick Vallelonga is a multi-award-winning actor, director, writer and producer, best known for garnering two Academy Awards® and two Golden Globes® for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for Green Book. It is the true story of Nick's father, Tony “Lip,” which starred Viggo Mortensen (Oscar®, Golden Globe and BAFTA® nominee for Best Actor), Mahershala Ali (Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA winner for Best Supporting Actor) and Linda Cardellini. Green Book was released by Universal Pictures and has earned over $350 million worldwide.

Currently, Nick has many projects in various stages of development, including writing, directing and producing next film: That's Amore!, a romantic comedy musical starring John Travolta and Katherine Heigl, and Reunion, based on the best-selling Christian novel by Dan Walsh about Vietnam Veterans.

Nick also has written, with George Gallo, Gambino, about the life of the notorious gangster Carlo Gambino, and The Big House, an old school buddy-comedy. Nick is producing both, with Gallo directing.

Other recent credits include the international feature film, Songs of Solomon, about the Armenian genocide, which Nick produced with Asko Akopyan and Director Arman Nshanian, and Unorganized Crime, a TV movie that Nick directed, that starred Chazz Palminteri.

Some of Nick's recent acting work includes Monstrous, starring Christina Ricci; The Many Saints of Newark, David Chase's prequel film to The Sopranos; and The Birthday Cake, starring Ewan McGregor, Val Kilmer, William Fichtner and Lorraine Bracco.


Hyatt Place Pasadena

We have arranged a block of rooms at the Hyatt Place Pasadena, a short, easy walk from Fuller Seminary's campus. Rooms are available for $199+tax per night. This discount is only available until May 24, 2024. Go here to book your room at this rate.

You may also call the Hyatt reservation line at 1-800-889-5420. Refer to Group Code G-FLUX to receive this special rate.


Thursday, June 27

8 AM Registration, Coffee and Pastries

8:30 AM Opening Remarks

9 – 10:30 AM First Presentation Block

Religion and Film in Early Hollywood, Moderated by Craig Detweiler - PSY 130

  • The Shroud of Cinema: Remembering and Reframing Sacred Space in Silent American Film - Terry Lindvall, Virginia Wesleyan University
  • Consumed by the American West: Embracing Humanity Through Reconciliation - Josh Neuberger, Boston University School of Theology
  • Antiquity and Authority in Intolerance and The Ten Commandments - Emily Pothast, Graduate Theological Union

Celluloid Opportunities, Moderated by Mugdha Yeolekar - PSY 126

  • Beyond the Beard: Women Rabbis in Feature Films - Laurie Baron, San Diego State University
  • Black Muslim Women in North American Film - Kristian Petersen, Old Dominion University
  • Religion, Gender, Horror, Comedy: Barbie’s Plastic Boundaries - Ken Derry, University of Toronto Mississauga

10:30 AM Break (Coffee and Pastries)

11 AM – 1 PM Second Presentation Block

The Cinematic Now, Moderated by Adam Soenstrom - PSY 130

  • Acceleration and Contemporary Filmmaking: Camera-based research in the Study of Lived Religion - Srdjan Sremac, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Reel Bad Religions? Investigating trends of how religion is depicted in contemporary cinema - Annette Gjerde Hansen, University of Oslo
  • The Transcendence of Space and Time in Science Fiction - Jochen Mündlein, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
  • More Screen Time: Between Access and Representation in Film and Religion - Candace Mixon, Reed College

Franchising Fear, Moderated by Kutter Callaway - PSY 126

  • From The Conjuring Universe to Capital Insurrection: The Evolving Awareness of Spiritual Warfare in the American Imaginary - Dayna Kalleres, University of California, San Diego
  • The Past and Future of The Exorcist Franchise: The Anti-Spiritualist Paradigm behind Exorcism Films - Michael Heyes, Lycoming College
  • Ghostbusters and the Apocalypse - Jack Roempke Andersson, University of Gothenburg

1 PM Lunch Break (On Your Own)

2:30 – 4 PM Third Presentation Block

The Politics of Receptio, Moderated by Melissa Croteau - PSY 130

  • The Barbenheimer Effect: A Postsecular Pilgrimage to the Movies - Joel Mayward, George Fox University
  • A Cultural History of Red-Pilling - Rachel Wagner, Ithaca College

Lex Visio, Lex Crendi, Moderated by Lindsey Macumber - PSY 126

  • Lay Priests of Polish Cinema: The Lived Religion in Corpus Cristi (2019) by Jan Komasa and All Our Fears (2021) by Łukasz Ronduda & Łukasz Gutt - Adam Domalewski, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland
  • The Cross as Symbol, Prop, and Paradigm in Horror Cinema - Bryan Stone, Boston University School of Theology
  • “It had to be supple and consistent”: Divinity, Matter and Bresson’s Eucharistic Vision in A Man Escaped -Gilbert Yeoh, National University of Singapore

4 PM Break

4:00 – 6 PM A Conversation with Nick Valleonga and Ralph Winter

6 - 7:00 PM Dinner (On Your Own)

7:00 PM Film Screening - Wildcat

Friday, June 28

8 AM Coffee and Pastries

9 – 10:30 AM First Presentation Block

The Future (of Teaching) Is Already Here, Moderated by John Lyden - PSY 130

  • Teaching the Replicants: Religion, Film, and Pedagogy in the Age of Artificial Intelligence - Regan Hardeman, Boston University School of Theology
  • Teaching the Film Pi (π): Interventions of Horror and Mysticism in a STEM-Dominated Academy - Matthew B. Lynch, Oregon State University
  • Screening the Divine: How Pluralistic Storytelling Builds Religious Literacy - Kianna Mahony, Harvard Divinity School

They Come at Night, Moderated by Amir Hussain - PSY 126

  • The Jesus Movement and The Thief in the Night - Karl Martin, Point Loma Nazarene University
  • The Djinn: The Evolution of the Monstrous and Islam in Hollywood Horror Films - Rubina Ramji, Cape Breton University
  • Nope and Nahum as Survival Literature - Diana Abernethy, Huntingdon College

10:30 AM Break (Coffee and Pastries)

11 AM – 1 PM Second Presentation Block

Acoustical Power: Political Critique through Music, Moderated by Kutter Callaway - PSY 130

  • From The Jazz Singer to “Ma” Rainey’s Black Bottom: Or, Why Movies About Jazz will be Banned in Florida - Jon Pahl, United Lutheran Seminary
  • Filming the Spirit: Amazing Grace and the Challenge of the Music Documentary - Joseph G. Kickasola, Baylor University

A Quiet Strength: Past and Present Depictions of Pacifism, Moderated by Robert Johnston - PSY 126

  • Terrence Malik’s A Hidden Life: Franz Jägerstätter and the Way of the Cross - William Skiles, Regent University
  • Gary Cooper's Pacifist Trilogy vs. Hacksaw Ridge: Changing American Attitudes Toward Christian Pacifism from World War I to Today - Zachary Ingle, Hardin-Simmons University
  • "I felt His voice take the sword out of my hand": Nonviolence and the Many Versions of Ben Hur - John Lyden, University of Nebraska Omaha

1 – 2:30 PM Lunch Break (On Your Own)

2:30 – 4 PM Third Presentation Block

Streaming Evil, Moderated by Jeanette Reedy Solano - PSY 130

  • Panel on Yellowjackets
    • From the Garden to the Wilderness: Inverting the Myth of the Goddess in Yellowjackets - Lindsay Macumber, Saint Mary's University
    • Yellowjackets meet the Windigo: A Settler Cautionary Tale -Syed Adnan Hussain, Saint Mary's University
  • Hellbound and Mediated Religion in Korean Netflix Originals - Seung Min Hong, International Christian University

Dealing with Death and Reconciling Your Life, Moderated by Rebecca VerStratan-McSparran - PSY 126

  • Burying Ashes and Making Dust: Redemption, Religion, and Memorialization in Recent Road Movies - Laura Senio Blair, Southwestern University
  • Death, Loss and Continuity: Exploring continuing bonds in contemporary Swedish films - Sofia Sjö, The Donner Institute

4 - 6 PM Happy Hour (On Your Own)

6 – 8 PM Founder’s Banquet Honoring William Blizek and Robert Johnston

8 PM Wine Reception


Thursday, June 27, 9 – 10:30 AM

Religion and Film in Early Hollywood

Celluloid Opportunities

Thursday, June 27, 11 AM – 1 PM

The Cinematic Now

Franchising Fear

Thursday, June 27, 2:30 – 4 PM

The Politics of Reception

Lex Visio, Lex Crendi

Friday, June 28, 9 – 10:30 AM

The Future (of Teaching) Is Already Here

They Come at Night

Friday, June 28, 11 AM – 1 PM

Acoustical Power: Political Critique through Music

A Quiet Strength: Past and Present Depictions of Pacifism

Friday, June 28, 2:30 – 4 PM

Streaming Evil

Dealing with Death and Reconciling Your Life