Why Study Implicit Religion? An Account of the 27th Denton Conference on Implicit Religion, 7-9 May 2004
Keywords:Denton Conference, implicit religion
Denton Hall in Yorkshire, UK, has been the seat of academic weekends devoted to research on implicit religion since the late 1970’s, more or less the lifetime of some of us younger participants in the latest conference. Judging from the very full schedule of the weekend that took place from 7–9 May this year, in those years study in the field has anything but exhausted itself. This year’s conference offered a broad range of topics and disciplines, and the cases presented promise to open up more and more interesting new domains. It would appear that the implicit religion approach lends itself to most facets of our society—from explicit religion to healthcare; from the business world to youth culture. What seems to tie the different uses of the concept together is not so much a unanimous understanding of what implicit religion is or should be. Rather, it is a shared interest in religiosity as something not necessarily institutionalised but nonetheless very much present in the modern world. However, if implicit religion can be described as a ‘common cause’, then what are its goals and what is the agenda of those studying it today?
Bailey, E. (ed.) (2002) The Secular Quest for Meaning in Life: Denton Papers in Implicit Religion, Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press.