The Symposium on Religious Literacy and Business: Media & Entertainment focused on four case studies that engage different dimensions of the media and entertainment industry, from high-level theoretical frameworks for assessing media effects to pragmatic strategies for integrating principles of religious literacy into production.
Each of these areas offers numerous, content-rich dynamics that can provide the foundation for productive conversation and greater reflection on the benefits of religious literacy and means to cultivating it. While some general themes and questions apply to all four cases, we suggest that panelists and attendees consider the specific guiding questions below for each case. We also strongly recommend reading the Religious Literacy Project’s Method in addition to the individual case studies in preparation for the symposium.
These four case studies engage different dimensions of the media and entertainment industry, from high-level theoretical frameworks for assessing media effects to pragmatic strategies for integrating principles of religious literacy into production.
The Symposium on Religious Literacy and Business: Media & Entertainment was held at Harvard Divinity School on September 20-21, 2018. Filmmaker and philanthropist Abigail E. Disney delivered the keynote address.
► David N. Hempton, Dean of Harvard Divinity School
► H. Bruce McEver, President of The Foundation for Religious Literacy
► Diane L. Moore, founder and director of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School
► Stephen Prothero, C. Allyn and Elizabeth V. Russell Professor of Religion at Boston University
►Abigail E. Disney is a filmmaker, philanthropist, activist, and the Emmy-winning director of The Armor of Light
► Lorraine Ali is television critic for the Los Angeles Times
► Mario Cader-Frech worked for nearly 15 years at Viacom International as Senior Vice President for Public Affairs & Social Responsibility
►Bruno del Granado, an agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency
► CarolAnne is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning executive producer who has a diverse background in factual programming
► Geralyn Dreyfous has a wide, distinguished background in the arts, extensive experience in consulting in the philanthropic sector, and participates on numerous boards.
► Sarah Hammerschlag is an associate professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School in the fields of Religion and Literature, Philosophy of Religions and History of Judaism
►Amir Hussain is Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University
► John L. Jackson, Jr. is Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice
► Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty Affiliate in Religion at Williams College
► Senior Advisor of the Communication for Development Section in UNICEF Headquarters
► Mik Moore is recognized as one of the leading digital media campaign strategists in the United States
► Sheila Murphy is a Full Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California
► Ross Murray is the Senior Director of Education & Training at The GLAAD Media Institute
► Anthony Petro, assistant professor in Boston University’s Department of Religion and in the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program
► Gordon Quinn, Artistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films
► Joanna Piacenza is a Senior Business Reporter for Morning Consult
► Christopher White received his PhD in Religious Studies from Harvard University, where he studied religion and culture in modern Europe and America
► Lauren R. Kerby is the Religious Literacy Project’s education specialist and an instructor in the Religious Studies and Education Certificate program at Harvard Extension School
► Sarabinh Levy-Brightman coordinates and does research for the Religious Literacy in the Professions Initiative