Make Session: Choose Your Own Religious History

Christianity was destined to become a dominant religion, wasn’t it? Zoroastrianism is fated to disappear, isn’t it? As Religious Studies scholars, we know that a variety of factors influence the emergence and development of religious traditions. Yet, situated in the present, our students often think that the current states of religions were inevitable. They often have difficulty conceptualizing the inherent complexity within religious traditions. This coming spring, I intend to use interactive fictions to help my undergraduate students think about the emergence of Christianity and the various ways it would have been perceived by individuals in the ancient world. In this session, I propose that we experiment with this genre. Let’s make our own interactive fiction and consider the pedagogical possibilities and limitations that this genre has for the study of the history of religions. We will be using the program inklewriter ( to construct our story, but the topic of our story and its overarching message will be up to the participants. We could write an interactive history about a religious event in the past, create a tutorial about how to perform a common research task, or construct a fictional account about something else entirely. The choice will be up to us. Come join me!