Call for Papers: Fordham Pop Culture & Theology Graduate Student Conference

Fordham Theology Graduate Student Conference: “Pop Culture and Theology” Friday, April 20, 2018 at Fordham University Rose Hill The Theology Graduate Student Association invites graduate students in theology, Bible, religious studies, ethics, and related fields to submit abstracts that explore the relationship between popular culture and theology from classical as well as contemporary perspectives. For…

Quiz: John Calvin Quote or Metal Lyrics?

By Jack Holloway The time of the Reformation was revolutionary in many ways. One of those ways was in rhetoric and writing style. Martin Luther mostly wrote pamphlets intended for mass production, so that anyone could pick them up and become a theologian. His writing style was not like that of many scholastic theologians. Luther…

Cloud Atlas, Religion, and Love: Holism and Postmodern Belief

Andrew D. Thrasher, ThM “I call it the Cloud Atlas Sextet. There are whole movements imagining us meeting again and again in different lives, different ages.” The movie Cloud Atlas weaves a complex narrative wherein the cast of characters are born, learn to love, and die, again and again. The six “movements” in the plot…

Fantasy and Pluralism: Unpacking the Religious Sources of The Wheel of Time

By Andrew D. Thrasher, ThM One of the best Fantasy series produced in the last 50 years, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s The Wheel of Time, a 15 book series of almost 15,000 pages produced over a 24 year span, encompasses a fantastic worldview displaying a pluralistic coherence of religious elements found in world religions….

The World, the Flesh, and the Devil in Game of Thrones

By Matthew William Brake [SPOILERS!!!] In the Christian circles I run in, there is some tension about whether Christian people should watch Game of Thrones because of some of the graphic, and specifically sexual, content (go over to the Popcorn Theology Facebook page if you don’t believe me). It is true that Game of Thrones…

Batman: An American Myth

By Aust Phoenix Two things make for a good hero: recognizable physical traits and the narrative arc of their story—their mythology. Batman is such a figure. Even without having read a comic or seen a movie, most people will know the basic premise of Batman’s story and recognize his outfit. Bruce Wayne is a son…

Listening to 80s Music with Karl Barth

By Jack Holloway I make a lot of “best of” playlists. Recently, I made a playlist of what I think are the 150 greatest 80s songs (find it here). I listened to hours and hours and hours and hours of 80s music, soaking it all in, and, like the Apostle Paul, “examining everything carefully, holding…

Uatu the Watcher and the Scandal of the Neo-Anabaptist Conscience

By Matthew William Brake My friend Jack Holloway wrote a blog not long ago on Anabaptist theology, critiquing it as an apolitical, “peace at all cost” theology that denies black experience and the need for participation in political systems by those who have been oppressed and are seeking systemic justice. Anabaptists commit so strongly to nonviolence…

God and the Neighbor in The Revenant

By Sam Bennett Traditionally, God is explanation’s resting point, since God and his cause are the same. However, God leads two lives: first as an object (as something real), then, more certainly, as an idea. Descartes observed, “I am a thinking thing, and possess an idea of God within me”, and from here he considered…

Gods and the Gospel, Culture and Time

By Robert C. Thomas “Evangelization is a process of bringing the gospel to people where they are, not where you would like them to be.” (Donovan, xii) How can a religion survive outside the land of its birth, and what happens to a religion if it does survive being transplanted in this way? Whether it’s…

Fantasia 2000 and the Redemption of Creation

By Jack Holloway One of the most beautiful sequences in the history of animation comes from Fantasia 2000, the sequel to the 1940 Disney classic Fantasia, both consisting of animated features set to classical music. [This article contains spoilers. Do yourself a favor and go watch this on Netflix before you finish reading!] The finale of Fantasia…

Glorified Platitude: The Political Theology of The Young Pope: Part II

By Joseph Trullinger (Read Part I here) Before further detailing how Agamben’s concepts help to explain this regressive isolationist autocracy, it helps to know that he is building upon the theory of Carl Schmitt, the foremost jurist of the Nazi party, who sets forth in his Political Theology of 1922 the claim that “All significant…

Glorified Platitude: The Political Theology of The Young Pope: Part I

By Joseph Trullinger In trying to describe Paolo Sorrentino’s The Young Pope to a few of my friends in philosophy, I told them to imagine that the spirit of Giorgio Agamben had possessed the body of Quentin Tarantino to make a TV show. What I was trying to convey was the show’s curious duality: it’s…

Wonder Woman: Facing the Darkness, Embracing Her Gifts

By Stephanie Pacheco Wonder Woman is a thematic knock out as Diana encounters the reality of evil and chooses to keep loving and place her gifts in the service of humanity. The Amazonian goddess is genuinely moved and affected by the suffering of war, experienced by both soldiers and civilians. From the paradise-like island of…

Left Alone: Luke Cage and the Post-Racial (Black) Hero

By Muoki Musau I admit off the jump that I don’t watch a lot of TV shows or movies. This isn’t to say that I don’t watch anything; rather, I do not prioritize finding things to watch. Luke Cage, however, caught my attention when it was released on Netflix, and, like many, I was intrigued…

A Haunted Immanence: Minus the Bear and Secular Re-Enchantment

By Andrew D. Thrasher A residue of transcendence in a lost immanence; raising vocals and samplings of complex perfections. Probably unknown to most people, the Indie Rock band, Minus the Bear has been producing music for the past 15 years ranging from a musical repertoire known for their clear beautiful vocals, guitar samples, synths, groovy…

Thor, the Problem of Evil, and Theodicy

By Armond Boudreaux Thor has been a mainstay of the Marvel comics universe since his creation by Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, and Stan Lee in 1962. Even though he’s primarily known as a superhero, Marvel has never shied away from his status as a deity. In fully embracing his status as the God of Thunder,…

Children, Death, and the Journey: Luke 9:37-48 in Conversation with Logan

By Kyle Sears [WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!] In Logan, Hugh Jackman ends a seventeen year run as Wolverine, a mutant with advanced healing ability and member of the X-Men. With a skeleton protected by adamantium – and retractable claws to match – Wolverine ruthlessly channeled his rage by fighting against people who threatened the security of…

Man of Steel and a Theology of Hope

In Man of Steel, Zack Snyder’s 2013 Superman reboot, there is a scene where Superman and Lois Lane are in an interrogation room and discuss the emblem on his chest: Lois Lane: What’s the ‘S’ stand for? Superman: It’s not an ‘S.’ On my world it means ‘hope.’ I’ve always had a soft spot for heroes like…

Every God wants to die: Belated reflections on Westworld

A thoughtful piece on an excellent show by Adam Kotsko at AUFS: This is a show about the death of God, one of the most deeply theological shows I have seen. It is in many ways a Gnostic myth, with Jones in the role of evil demiurge and the long-lost Arnold representing the true God of…

Blade Runner 2049: 5 Star Review

Check out Leah Schade’s review of Blade Runner 2049 over at EcoPreacher: Blade Runner 2049 is cli-fi (climate fiction) at its best with superb visual effects, an absorbing storyline, fascinating characters, and poignant religious/philosophical themes. Read more here.