Beastars, the Addictions of the Flesh, and Cruciform Asceticism

By David Armstrong Caveat Lector: Spoilers follow for Netflix’s Beastars. Beastars is objectively a little ridiculous. The first season follows Legoshi, a wolf living in a society of anthropoid animals tenuously held together across the division between herbivores and carnivores, the latter of whom struggle and periodically refuse to contain their violent and flesh-eating instincts….

Faith in the Balance: Religious Trauma and Hope in The Vigil

By Danny Anderson Horror films are shapeshifters by nature. They emerge into the world at a given time and place and contort themselves to embody the anxieties, fears, and hopes of their moment. For those interested in religion, horror has been, justifiably so, a primary cinematic genre to explore. No other kind of film takes…

Extended Call for Papers: Religion in Spider-Man Comics

Call For Papers: Religion in Spider-Man Comics – A Textual Look at our Favorite Web-Slinger Volume Editor: George Tsakiridis, PhD Abstract and CV Due: October 24, 2021 Initial Final Paper Due: March 1, 2022 There are few comic book heroes that rise to the level of Spider-Man. He is the foundation for most of the…

Call for Papers: Theology and Wes Craven

Call for Proposals Title:                          Theology and Wes Craven   Editor:                        David K. Goodin, McGill University Wesley Earl Craven (1939-2015), popularly known as simply Wes Craven, redefined the horror genre with such landmark and notorious films as The Hills Have Eyes (1977), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), The People…

2nd Extension CFP: Theology and Margaret Atwood

Since the recent success of the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood—who has always enjoyed an enthusiastic “fan base” and coterie of admiring readers—has gained a renewed prominence and her work has entered into a kind of renaissance as readers (re)discover her extensive catalogue of writings, including novels, essays, short stories, poetry, and other edited…

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X: Epilogue

At long last, David Canham‘s epilogue for his ongoing blog series for Sequart on Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X. Here is an excerpt: “One also cannot deny how well-crafted the House of X / Powers of X series is. The questionable morality of the X-Men’s new status quo does not make the storytelling any less compelling. Hickman…

WandaVision, Reality, and the Filter Bubbles that Control Our Minds

By Hannah Grubbs Imagine you’re sitting at the dinner table with your old white grandma and her and your parents are going on and on about how Antifa was behind the insurrection and that Trump won the election. You, a well-informed person, interject to say, “Well, the Antifa part is unsure and Trump actually lost…

Die Before You Die: The Mystery of Christ in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

By David Armstrong Caveat Lector: Spoilers follow for David Lowery’s The Green Knight. David Lowery’s The Green Knight (2021) is simply incredible. In a lifetime of ill-conceived, failed, and outright botched Camelot films, it is refreshing to know that someone, somewhere, actually has some knowledge of Arthuriana, particularly the mystifying, apocalyptic, even psychedelic strangeness that surrounds the…

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s Powers of X #6

I’m happy to present the second to last entry in David Canham‘s ongoing blog series for Sequart on religion in Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X. Next week, I will be posting a link to his epilogue for the blog series. Here is an excerpt: “In returning to the theme of prophecy, Hickman brings…

Call for Papers: Theology and the Blues

Theology and the Blues Edited by Justin McLendon While all music genres incorporate religious imagery, the blues has its origin in the soil of the church. In its infancy, the blues was considered the “Devil’s Music,” often dismissed as undermining the church’s gospel songbook. The initial resistance, however, could not suppress the organic development of…

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s House of X #6

Once again, I am happy to present another post from our friends over at Sequart from David Canham‘s ongoing blog series analyzing religion in Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X. Here is an excerpt: “But, Krakoa is supposed to be a mutant paradise, a perfect society as first introduced in Chapter 1: House of X #1….

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s Powers of X #5

We are coming close to the end of David Canham‘s analysis of Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X series over at Sequart. Here is an excerpt: “One theory of religion postulates that such belief systems arise out of questions that remain (as of yet) beyond our ability to answer. Wondering, ‘Where did everything ultimately…

The Mitchells vs. Technophobia: Balancing a Theological Approach to Technology

By Jake Doberenz There are plenty of examples of entertainment media deconstructing its own existence and warning about the dangers of technology. Shows like Black Mirror asks us to question how media and technology control and affect our lives. Movies from iRobot to Age of Ultron to Ex Machina depict the danger of artificially intelligent…

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s House of X #5

I’m happy to present another installment from our friend David Canham‘s series for Sequart on religion in Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X story. Here is an excerpt: “Although only the ninth of twelve chapters, House of X #5 brings the entire House of X / Powers of X series to its thematic and symbolic climax. How fitting then, that…

Extended Call for Papers: Theology and the Riordanverse

Editors: Nathan E. Fleeson and Carolyn M. Jones Medine 2020 marked the 15thAnniversary of the publication of the first book in the Percy Jackson series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, as well as what Rick Riordan claims will be the last in the series, The Trials of Apollo: The Tower of Nero. In those…

Extended Call for Papers: Theology and LOST

Due Date for Abstracts: September 17, 2021 Few commercial television series in recent memory had such a lasting impact on its viewers as did the TV series “Lost” which aired 2004-2010, and although the series is now over a decade old, it is still available on streaming services and its themes are still relevant, perhaps…

Extended Call for Papers: Theology and Margaret Atwood

Since the recent success of the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood—who has always enjoyed an enthusiastic “fan base” and coterie of admiring readers—has gained a renewed prominence and her work has entered into a kind of renaissance as readers (re)discover her extensive catalogue of writings, including novels, essays, short stories, poetry, and other edited…

Call for Papers: Religion in Spider-Man Comics

Call For Papers: Religion in Spider-Man Comics – A Textual Look at our Favorite Web-Slinger Volume Editor: George Tsakiridis, PhD Abstract and CV Due: October 1, 2021 Initial Final Paper Due: March 1, 2022 There are few comic book heroes that rise to the level of Spider-Man. He is the foundation for most of the…

Reflections on Theology and the Marvel Universe

By Gregory Stevenson In 2019 I had the privilege of working with an exceptional group of scholars as editor for Theology and the Marvel Universe. With the paperback edition now available (and thus at a thankfully cheaper price), this provides a good opportunity to reflect on why I think projects like this are important. Comic book…

What Have We Learned About Prince’s Theology Lately?

By Jonathan H. Harwell, co-editor, Theology and Prince (now released in paperback) Theology and Prince, the inaugural volume of the rapidly growing Theology and Pop Culture series from Lexington Books/Fortress Academic (see the review at Reading Religion here), has now been published in paperback at a lower list price of $39.99.  I am honored to be a co-editor of this…

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s Powers of X #4

Once again, I’m happy to call attention to David Canham’s series of articles over at Sequart about Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X series. In this entry, David looks at the compromises Charles Xavier, Magneto, and others make for the sake of the greater good. Here is an excerpt: “Many works of creative writing,…

Black Widow, Feminism, and Redemption

By Corey Patterson ***Editor’s Note: Corey originally wrote this piece in 2020 before the pandemic and before the Black Widow movie was delayed. If I was a better editor, I would’ve made sure to release this BEFORE Black Widow hit theaters. The original release date has been changed to the actual one. ~MB The long-waited…

Call for Papers: Theology and Vampires

Theology and Vampires From the ‘vampire craze’ of the eighteenth century, and up to contemporary takes on the genre, vampire narratives have been inextricably bound up with theological questions. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula and its many adaptations, the vampire is repelled by the crucifix and the consecrated Host. Two puncture wounds on the victim’s neck in…

For All Time, Always: Of Gods, Demiurges, Tricksters, and Creaturely Freedom

David Armstrong Caveat Lector:Spoilers follow below for Marvel’s Loki. As a show, Loki represents how far the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come on several metrics. One of them is surely the freedom with which the MCU can now approach its comic-book source material: when Iron Man first came out in 2009, probably no one expected to eventually see…

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s House of X #4

Hello Everyone! Once again, I want to draw attention to David Canham’s blog series over at Sequart about Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X series. Canham does an excellent job in this piece of examining the use of martyrdom themes in House of X #4. Here is an excerpt: “Nightcrawler then transports himself and…

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: An Interview with Paul Levitz

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Paul Levitz, former writer, editor, publisher, and president of DC Comics, about his most recent graphic novel for Dark Horse Comics entitled Unfinished Business, the story about a rabbi, a priest, and a minister who walk into bar. The catch is that they’re all dead and…

M.O.D.O.K. and the Vice of Ambition: If the Mundane Be Thy Doom!

By David Armstrong Caveat Lector: Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.is rated TV-MA, and more importantly, spoilers follow for it below. Plenty of other people have written on what makes the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing—M.O.D.O.K., for short—among the most ridiculous products of Marvel’s long publishing history, and therefore what is just so comedically perfect about the first (but hopefully…

Book Review: Theology and the Marvel Universe

The good folks over at the American Academy of Religion’s Reading Religion book review site have posted a very nice review of the Theology and the Marvel Universe book from the Theology and Pop Culture series! The review, written by A.G. Holdier, highlights the book’s depth and breadth of content, which may seem daunting to…

Call for Papers: Theology and the Avett Brothers

Editor: Dr. Alex Sosler Folk music has a long history of theological and redemptive themes, and the Avett Brothers receive and advance this rich heritage. The individuals of the Avett Brothers provide a broad spectrum of theological and spiritual concerns, and the concoction of religious influences leads to a unique theological viewpoint. Through their music,…

Jesus and Captain Ri

By Dr. Michael Chung Years of abuse against women in the name of conservative theological beliefs are shaking complementarianism. Prominent citizens like President Jimmy Carter and author/speaker Beth Moore have vocally announced their exodus from the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination that highly espouses patriarchal/complementarian values and beliefs. Houston Chronicle journalist Robert Downen, in a…

Call for Papers: Theology and Margaret Atwood

Since the recent success of the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood—who has always enjoyed an enthusiastic “fan base” and coterie of admiring readers—has gained a renewed prominence and her work has entered into a kind of renaissance as readers (re)discover her extensive catalogue of writings, including novels, essays, short stories, poetry, and other edited…

Call for Papers: Theology and LOST

Due Date for Abstracts: August 1, 2021 Few commercial television series in recent memory had such a lasting impact on its viewers as did the TV series “Lost” which aired 2004-2010, and although the series is now over a decade old, it is still available on streaming services and its themes are still relevant, perhaps…

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s House of X #3

Hello friends! Again, I wanted to link another chapter of David Canham’s ongoing blog series over at Sequart about Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X series, which kicked off his current run on the X-Men. David presents another terrific analysis of the religious themes in Hickman’s work. Here is an excerpt: “Cyclops asks two…

Call for Papers: Theology and the Riordanverse

Editors: Nathan E. Fleeson and Carolyn M. Jones Medine 2020 marked the 15thAnniversary of the publication of the first book in the Percy Jackson series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, as well as what Rick Riordan claims will be the last in the series, The Trials of Apollo: The Tower of Nero. In those…

Comics Review – Chronicles of Faith: David the Shepherd

By Danny Anderson As a consumer of art, I generally agree with Franz Kafka when he wrote “I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us.” I don’t take this to mean that we should avoid books we like. Rather, we should learn to appreciate art that challenges us…

WANDAVISION and a Biblical Approach to Processing Grief

By Christopher Cummings Appearances are deceiving in the new Disney+ drama WANDAVISION. Set in the aftermath of the latest Avengers movie, Wanda Maximoff and her android beaux Vision enjoy domestic life in the suburbs of New Jersey… despite Vision’s heroic death several years prior.  Unbeknownst to Wanda, she’s using her supernatural gifts to avoid her grief…

Book Review: Theology and Prince

Recently, my friend Dr. Jeremy Perigo agreed to review Theology and Prince (part of the Theology and Pop Culture book series) for the American Academy of Religion‘s Reading Religion book review site. Here is a snippet of Dr. Perigo’s review: “This collection of essays will quickly become an essential starting point for future Prince scholars….

Theology and Horror: Answering the Concerns of the Critics

Guest post by John W. Morehead As a co-editor with Brandon Grafius of the new volume Theology and Horror: Explorations of the Dark Religious Imagination, I was asked to submit a post to help bring attention to our new work. I will use the opportunity to respond to tendencies that at times see a disconnect between…

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s Powers of X #3

As many of you who follow this website know, I have sporadically been linking up to a blog series (by David Canham) from our friends at Sequart about Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X series that launched the current X-Men era at Marvel Comics. The series is full of religious ideas and symbolism, and…

WandaVision and Toxic Self-Care

By Danny Anderson [Spoilers (if that’s even still possible)]. Over the last two months, I was sucked into Wanda Maximoff’s hex like everyone else. Many other people have, or will, write about the gripping meditation on grief that WandaVision provides. Still others (with far more patience than me) will spin out of Wanda’s alternate reality into…

Integral Ecology, Wisdom, and Faith: Raya and the Last Dragon on Radical Solidarity

By David Armstrong  Western society seems to be skeptical about our collective ability to find common cause just now. Yet this disbelief also comes at a time when a united human phronema is most needed to address global threats to our human flourishing and even existence. The coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and the devastating inequality of wealth and…

Anti-Life Justifies My Ignorance: Evangelicalism and the Pandemic

By Matthew Brake Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis billed itself as “The Day Evil Won.” The evil New God Darkseid had finally attained the long sought for Anti-Life Equation, a macguffin that gave him the power to control and subjugate the minds of others. In Morrison’s story, Darkseid’s coming is heralded by a “Religion of Crime”…

Grief, Loss, and Love Persevering in WandaVision

By Rev. Sam Blair [SPOILERS!!!!] If 2020 taught us anything, it was to expect the unexpected, and then to have those expectations shattered as well. Even so, I would not have guessed that a Marvel series would begin a national discussion about grief and grieving. And yet, here we are, memes and all. I work…