Third Annual Religious Studies Graduate Conference Spring 2019

The graduate students of the Religious Studies department are excited to announce their 3rd Annual Graduate conference, co-sponsored by the UNC Charlotte Religious Studies Department and Women and Gender Studies Program.

Please join them in camaraderie and discussion as they are joined by graduate and undergraduate students from across the country to share their research and ideas concerning religion and its intersections with sexuality, gender and the body to name a few.

The Plenary Speaker will be Dr. Jessica Johnson presenting “The Carnal Resonance and Political Valences of Conviction.”  Her talk is based on her ethnographic research conducted from 2006-2016 on Mars on Church in Seattle, a multisited megachurch co-founded by Pastor Mark Driscoll that had expanded to fifteen locations spread across five states before its dissolution in 2014. Driscoll resigned in the wake of public testimonies by former congregants and staff that detailed tactics of emotional manipulation and spiritual abuse, including systematic bullying and shunning practices. She examines Mars Hill’s use of digital technologies and Driscoll’s controversial preaching on gender and sexuality to analyze how congregants were recruited into gendered and collective affective labor, both voluntary and involuntary, on behalf of church growth – a social and embodied process that she calls “biblical porn.” In turn, she theorizes the carnal resonance of conviction as a surplus of affective value with valences that reinforce and exceed logics of biopolitical regulation, agitating fear, animating threats, circulating shame, and exploiting paranoia.

Her presentation will be based on material from her book, Biblical Porn: Affect, Labor, and Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Evangelical Empire, published by Duke University Press:

Jessica Johnson teaches Anthropology and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington.

You can view her website at

Parking is STRICTLY ENFORCED at the Center City Building.


Event Details

Center City Building


Contact Information

Samuel Davis


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Event Date & Time

Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 9:00 AM