The International Society for Media, Religion and Culture (ISMRC)

Religion, as humanity’s oldest expression of values, identity and community, has always been a mediated practice. In contemporary society religious ideas are communicated, learned, represented, enacted and resisted through various forms of media. Religion circulates through social media, is discussed in the news and becomes a source of imagery for film and television.

The International Society for Media, Religion and Culture (ISMRC) was founded in 2010 out of a series of conferences on the interplay between media, religion and culture starting in 1994. Today the ISMRC is a vibrant research community of scholars with a large variety of international, disciplinary and religious backgrounds, covering topics such as journalism on religion; religion, popular culture and entertainment; and digital religion.

The ISMRC organizes biennial conferences and  The twelfth biennial conference on Media, Religion and Culture was planned to be held at the Sigtuna Foundation in August 2020, with the theme Rethinking Media, Religion and Secularities. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the conference was postponed to August 2021, and later in the spring 2021 a decision to cancel the on-site conference in Sigtuna was made. It will be replaced with an online conference.

See announcement below;


The Conference Planning Team and ISMRC Advisory Board regrettably announces the cancellation of the ONSITE portion of the planned 2021 ISMRC Conference in Sigtuna, Sweden.  This has been a hard decision based on the continued impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic on international travel and health & safety concerns. We apologize of any inconvenience this change and delayed notification causes. Due to this decision and its impact on the conference structure, we will instead hold a modified one day event ONLINE. 

This virtual event “Rethinking Religion, Media & Secularities” will take place on August 4th 2021 featuring panels of select papers and presentations on the planned conference theme.  This event will be focused around a keynote talk by Professor of Communication Marwan Kraidy, Northwestern University in Qatar.  Full details of this event and program will be announced by May 28th on the conference website. 

We look forward to returning to a full conference format in 2023 when the next ISMRC Conference will take place in Bochum, Germany in conjunction with the Center for Religious Studies at Ruhr University-Bochum. In the meantime the ISMRC board will be working with regional groups encouraging the planning of ISMRC-related events in 2021 & 2022.

More information on the conference at