2023 Conference in Bochum, Germany

The 13th biennial conference on Media, Religion and Culture was held August 2-5, 2023 at the Center for Religious Studies at Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany. 

During the conference, the International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture (ISMRC) gave out this year two Stewart M. Hoover Mentorship Awards in recognition of the visionary guidance, leadership, and dedication in the research field of media, religion, and culture.  

The awards were given to Professor Birgit Meyer, Utrecht University and Professor Stig Hjarvard, University of Copenhagen. 

From left to right, Mia Lövheim, Stewart Hoover, Birgit Meyer, and Johanna Sumiala
Stig Harvard giving a video message

About the Center for Religious Studies 

CERES is one of the largest and most successful institutions for the study of religion on a global scale. This institution currently hosts 10+ externally funded projects, including the international research consortium Käte Hamburger Kolleg: Dynamics in the History of Religions, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, two Consolidator Grants funded by the European Research Council (ERC), and a Collaborative Research Center on Religion and Metaphors, funded by the German Research Council. 

Next to its research activities, CERES has established a comprehensive program for the promotion of young researchers as well as a dedicated center for knowledge transfer. It also houses a BA as well as an international MA program in Religious Studies. 

At CERES, multiple projects concerning religion and digital media have been conducted throughout the years, especially (but not limited to) religious communication in online forums. However, a distinguishing element of CERES’ approach to the field is that in addition to contemporary media, historical media are also taken into consideration – books, statues, buildings, scrolls, even oracle bones. Based on the concept of “mediation” (B. Meyer), researchers at CERES presume that all material objects which believers understand to bridge the distance between the immanent and transcendent spheres by enhancing sensual, bodily, and spatial experiences of the sacred, should be considered religious media. This allows studying processes of mediation in the pre-modern era alongside the most recent technological innovations. In turn, the scholarly conversation is enhanced through the inclusion of historians, art historians, philologist, archaeologists, etc.

About Ruhr University Bochum:

CERES is part of Ruhr University Bochum (RUB), one of the leading research universities in Germany. As a reform-oriented campus university, it uniquely combines the entire range of major scientific fields as well as the so-called small subjects in one place and offers researchers and students alike special opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Credit: RUB/Marquard
Credit: RUB/Marquard