Marshall McLuhan & Religious Thought: A Symposium, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto


Marshall McLuhan and Religious Thought: A Symposium

University of Saint Michael’s College   –   September 28-29, 2012

We (Domenico Pietropaolo, Principal of St. Mike’s, Jenna Sunkenberg, St. Mike’s Professor, and Robert K. Logan, St. Mike’s Fellow ) are planning a two symposium to discuss the work of Marshall McLuhan vis-à-vis religious thought. Marshall McLuhan was catholic in the two senses of the term. It is well known that he was a devoted Roman Catholic who was deeply religious. It is also the case that he was catholic in the universal sense of the word in that he embraced and studied the thought of the many diverse cultures and religions of the Global Village. We hope through this symposium to explore what we can learn about religious thought and practice from the thinking of Marshall McLuhan. We are interested in all aspects of religious and spiritual thought.

The idea for this symposium, which came from the President of St. Michael’s Sister Anderson and Principal Domenico Pietropaolo, arose from a panel discussion on religious thought organized by the McLuhan Legacy Network along with a memorial mass at St. Bail’s that was held to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Marshall McLuhan during the week of celebrations July 18 to 24, 2011. The President and the Principal as a result of those events felt that a more extended discussion of the themes touched on during the panel discussion was in order and hence proposed this symposium.

We are honoured to have Dr. Eric McLuhan, the holder of an honorary Doctorate of Sacred Letters from St. Mikes and a participant of the original panel last July as one of our keynote speakers. Eric is a well-known and prolific author who is also the editor of a collection of his father’s essays entitled The Medium and the Light: Reflections on Religion. Those planning to participate in this symposium might wish to read this excellent collection of essays. In addition to Eric we are equally honoured to have as our other keynote speaker, Prof. Elena Lamberti of the University of Bologna and author of the recently released book Marshall McLuhan’s Mosaic: Probing the Literary Origins of Media Studies.

We are soliciting in this call for papers contributions for presentations of 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the number of accepted presentations) that will be presented in plenary sessions to be held between Prof. Lamberti’s opening keynote on the 28th and Dr. Eric McLuhan’s closing key note on the 29th. A selection of the papers presented at the symposium will be collected, edited and published by St. Michael’s College through an associated publisher. We ask that you email your abstract of not more than 300 words and a short bio also of not more than 300 words to me at

Deadline for submission of abstract is August 13, 2012

St. Michaels College, 

4 Responses to “Marshall McLuhan & Religious Thought: A Symposium, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto”

  1. 1 Michael

    Request for clarification:

    The header gives the dates as Sept. 28-29. The last paragraph indicates that Elena Lamberti has the opening keynote on the 25th, and Eric McLuhan the closing keynote on the 26th.

    This seems to be an error.

    Which are the correct dates?


    • Michael, thanks for noticing the inconsistency and bringing it to my attention. I should have picked it up myself, but was at a conference and rushed for time. I have sought clarification from the source of this information and will post it as soon as I’ve received it….AlexK


  2. 3 Michael

    Thanx, Alex. BTW, what is the deadline for submissions?

    (I’m not TRYING to be difficult–in fact I’ve been looking forward to this conference since I first heard about it, and that was at the Brussels conference last October.)


    • You’re not being difficult at all and your questions are well-taken. I have verified that the dates of the conference are Sept. 28-29 and that Elena Lamberti’s opening keynote will be on the 28th, while Eric McLuhan’s closing one will be on the 29th. The deadline for submissions is August 13 and I have updated the original CFP posting to reflect these corrections. Thank you for pointing out these anomalies….AlexK


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