http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_h ... n28947981/
Here is Erika Doss five page article about serious devotion to Elvis which some people have. She also has a book with similar title to this article. Does anybody here know any serious Elvis followers?
==quote Erika Doss==
Contemporary Americans continue to mix and match religious beliefs and practices, creating their own spiritual convictions out of that amalgamation. (2) It may be that when Elvis fans protest that their devotion to Elvis is not "religious," they are really objecting to an institutional definition of the term. In fact, their privatizing veneration of Elvis is one strong historical form of American religiosity.
My references, here to "religion" are not meant as metaphorical flourishes; nor do I want to mitigate the reverence that many fans have for Elvis as a "kind of" religion. Religion constitutes those practices and attitudes that imbue a person's life with meaning by linking him or her to a transcendent reality: that which is beyond purely immanent, or secular, experience and understanding. Assertions of affinity between religion and the generally privatized spiritual beliefs and practices of Elvis fans stem from their similarly supernatural, and inexplicable, character and authority. Collecting Elvis stuff, creating Elvis shrines, and going to Graceland are not, in and of themselves, religious acts and practices. But they can become religious if they affect a transcendent and all-powerful order that can influence human affairs and is not inherently apprehensible.
The issue of Elvis' place in America's democratic, diverse, and individually synthesized religious realm may best be considered by asking why so many Americans have come to place their faith in an image of Elvis. Why is Elvis an icon, and what does this reveal about how contemporary Americans visualize faith? Examining how and why his fans have made him a figure of popular culture canonization, and how his iconic dominance is actually embedded in and extended from their specific religious feelings and practices, may provide some answers.
Note Doss' working definition. Other people can have other definitions. Her's makes sense to me especially because does not necessarily involve a "creator" with a mind or personality. It just says linking the religious person to a *transcendent reality* The definition seems very general and inclusive.
Anyway whatever the merits of her definition she is up-front with it, tells the reader how she defines the term and then works within that logical context. I haven't read much of the article but I wanted to share it.
My wife just called it to my attention.