To increase the understanding of religion and popular culture by engaging their intersection in ways that are most immediate and familiar.
During the Fall of 2011, Seth M. Walker and Stephen G. Wright decided to create a platform – something they noticed had been truly lacking up until this point – for scholars, writers, and artists alike, to explore the intersection between religion and popular culture. Other, previous mediums typically neglected cultural spaces that were not traditionally deemed academic and failed to consider the multitudinous ways in which this intersection can be analyzed. Though academics by trade, Seth and Stephen noticed that solely engaging this intersection through academia restricted the unique representation of many different (and, oftentimes, much more immediate and familiar) cultural mediums. This bridge between the academic and popular spheres of discourse is what Nomos Journal aims to promote and sustain.
Nomos Journal (NJ) is an online journal that publishes a revolving array of material engaging the intersection between contemporary expressions of religion and popular culture. While most similar publications examine the broad interplay of dynamics characterizing the interaction of religion within various sociocultural spheres and disciplines, NJ seeks to directly engage the manner in which contemporary religiosity pervades popular cultural artifacts and mediums. By providing an accessible venue for the presentation and discussion of these dimensions, NJ aims to increase the understanding of the role religion plays throughout society and culture.
Following sociological understandings of world-creation, Nomos Journal takes its name from the socially constructed “meaningful orders” characterizing the plausibility structures of humankind. Following Peter L. Berger more specifically, it is the intended “meaningful totality” of such structures that NJ recognizes as a continuously burgeoning front for religious discourse. “Every society is engaged in the never completed enterprise of building a humanly meaningful world,” Berger claimed many years ago. It is in this “humanly meaningful world,” and the popular cultural forms indicative of such meaning, where the focus of NJ resides.
Nomos Journal considers brief and accessible articles that explore its particular focus in an analytical and critical manner, but it is further unique in that it accepts creative submissions of poetry, original artwork and photography, and reflective essays. NJ also features interviews that highlight particular individuals whose work is in accordance with the journal’s mission and scope. The journal maintains the understanding that some of the best explorations of these cultural dimensions take place outside of a more traditional academic approach, thereby inviting non-academics to help participate in making this area of discourse much more accessible and stimulating.