Sage Elwell

J. Sage Elwell

Associate Professor of Religion and Art
Beasley Hall 204A | 817-257-6444

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Ph.D. Modern Religious Thought: Religion, Culture, and the Arts. The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. 2008

M.Litt. Philosophical Theology: Theology, the Imagination, and the Arts. The University of St. Andrews. St. Andrews, Scotland. 2002

MA Philosophy of Religion. The University of Kansas. Lawrence, KS. 2000

BA Religious Studies, William Jewell College. Liberty, MO. 1998

Courses Taught

World Religions Through the Arts
Digital Religion: God, The Soul, and Morality After the Digital Revolution
Religion, Art, and Visual Culture
Religion and African American Identity in the Arts from 1945 to the Present
The Death of God and the End of Art

Areas of Focus

Digital Culture; Digital Art; Theological Aesthetics; Religion and Postmodernism; Modern and Contemporary Art; Atheism

Crisis of Transcendence: A Theology of Digital Art and Culture. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011.

“Where Embodiment Meets Environment: A Meditation on the Work of Hans Breder and Ana Mendieta with Accompanying Interview with Hans Breder.” In Art, Religion, and the Environment, edited by Forrest Clingerman. Boston: Brill Publishers, forthcoming 2016.

“TechnoTopia: The Convergence of Art and Technology in the Twentieth Century and Beyond.” In Hope and the Longing For Utopia. Edited by Daniel Boscaljon. Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2014, 180-193.

“Atheism and the Visual Arts.” Oxford Handbook of Atheism. Edited by Stephen Bullivant and Hichael Ruse. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 698-709.

“The Transmediated Self.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. (September 12, 2013): 1-17.

“The Devil in Fred Stonehouse: The Aesthetics of Evil After Evil.” The Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies 11.12 (May 2013): 3-28.

“Reflections From the Bottom of a Brillo Box: An Inquiry into the End(s) of Art.” Religion and the Arts 16.5 (December 2012): 539-559.

“Embracing Failure and Extending Grace in a Digital Age: Viewing The Social Network and Catfish Theologically.” In Light Shining in a Dark Place: Discovering Theology Through Film. Edited by Jeff Sellars. Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2012, 63-77.


“The Passionate Failure of Jim Harvey,” presented at the 1st annual Theopoetics Conference on March 19th, 2016 at Boston University.

“Out of the Box: The Art and Death of James Harvey (A Kierkegaardian Analysis)”, presented at the annual meeting of the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies, March 13th, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.

“Augmented Reality in Sacred Space,” presented at the 2nd annual Digitorium Conference on the Digital Humanities, March 3rd, 2016 at the University of Alabama.

“The Seven Deadly Sins of the Digicene.” The Biannual Conference of the International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture. September 19, 2014. Leuven, Belgium.

“The Sacrifice of James Harvey.” The 9th annual Religion, Literature, and the Arts Conference. The University of Iowa, Iowa City. September 2013.

“Ecstasy, Terror, and Delirium: Atheism and the Failure of Religious Experience.” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting. Baltimore, Maryland. November, 2013.

“Making the Mask of Inhumanity: Oliver de Sagazan’s Transfiguration and the Technological Inhuman.” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting. Baltimore, Maryland. November, 2013.

“The Metaphor of Art and Religion: The Presence of Meaning After Atheism.” Biannual Conference of the International Society of Religion, Literature, and Culture. Copenhagen, Denmark. October, 2012.

Co-Chair of the Religion and Humanism Group for the American Academy of Religion

Founder and co-host of “thesacredprofane” podcast: “a podcast that asks big questions in small places”. thesacredprofane is a bi-weekly podcast exploring pop-culture/art philosophy/theology, and society/politics, 2016-present.