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How fandom can be viewed as a form or substitute for religion

The extent to which mass following of popular culture – popular music stars, TV shows or football fandom – can act as a form of faith for followers is to be explored at an international conference hosted at Leicester between 28-30 July.

Among the topics at the conference are:

  • Fandom as a Psychological Phenomenon
  • Pop Devotion, and the Transfiguration of Dead Celebrities
  • Fandom, Sport and Hope

Dr Clive Marsh, Director of Lifelong Learning, said: “Like religion, fandom is time-consuming, life-shaping, energising and often provides a social network.  Like religion, it provides a structure that helps people meet ‘needs’ such as finding friends, being affirmed and having a sense of self-worth, wanting to find a system of values, beliefs or symbols within which to live.

“However, fandom may not be religion if religion is defined as necessarily entailing contact with God or a higher power. We will explore whether fandom might be serving as an alternative to religion."

For more information on the conference, please visit the website.

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