Holy Crap! Intersections of the Popular and the Sacred in Youth Cultures


Holy Crap! is an international conference organised by the Finnish Youth Research Society and Network, focusing on the interrelations between popular culture, youth and the sacred. The conference aims at interrogating understandings of popular and youth cultures in relation to the contested phenomena of (post)secularisation, re-enchantment and the emergence of alternative spiritualities.

Seeking to analyse the social and cultural changes accompanying these phenomena, the conference will facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue between youth studies, cultural studies, religious studies and the broader social sciences.

Recent years have seen a growing interest in ”re-scripting the sacred” through popular culture. Although ”youth” as an age-based category has lost its privileged status within such studies of popular culture, young people remain vital (sub)cultural agents. There has also been renewed interest in the ubiquitous contestations and ambiguities around the notion of the ”popular” in light of the increasing commodification and standardisation of culture, the opposition this engenders, and the cultural drift into virtual worlds.

Holy Crap! locates itself at the intersection of these three contested concepts, seeking to re-examine and re-evaluate the dynamics within and between cultural phenomena prefixed with ”popular”, ”sacred” and ”youth”.

More information:


For any enquiries please contact conference administrator

Fanny Vilmilä
+358 50 527 7781/Monday-Wednesday 9 am – 4 pm.


Information about Organisers

The conference is a collaborative initiative of the Finnish Youth Research Society & Network, Departments of Comparative Religion at the University of Helsinki and the University of Turku (website only in Finnish) and Post-Secular Culture and a Changing Religious Landscape in Finland (PCCR, Åbo Akademi University), in cooperation with the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies, the International Institute for Popular Culture (Turku), the Finnish Society for Cultural Studies and the Finnish Jazz & Pop Archive (Helsinki), UskoMus Research Network and YUNET, the Finnish university network of youth studies (website only in Finnish).