Call for Abstracts: Theology and Horror

Call for Abstracts – Theology and Horror

Explorations of the relationship between religion and horror are fairly well established. However, this is not the case for theology and horror. Many times explorations of theology and horror involve simplistic readings in which theological concepts or doctrines are spotted within horror narratives and noted as points of connection. While this approach has its place, great possibilities exist for going deeper and wider in the exploration of horror and theology. Horror can be a subversive and edgy genre, and this doesn’t often connect well with conservative assumptions which underlie much of the theological enterprise. Theology is often neat and sanitized; horror is messy and dirty.

This volume seeks to do something different, and to break new ground. Along with exploring how theology is present in horror, this volume will seek to explore how theology can be changed and shaped by an interaction with horror. This can be illustrated with examples of possible topics:

  • God as monstrous figure
  • Zombie Jesus phenomenon
  • Horrific readings of the Bible
  • Horror as/in theological pedagogy
  • Atheological conceptions of horror
  • The afterlife in theology and horror
  • Frankenstein and God as absent parent
  • Apocalyptic thinking in theology and horror
  • Rudolf Otto’s The Idea of the Holyand Horror
  • Horror and nihilism vs. horror and theological hope
  • How theology can benefit from interaction with horror
  • The portrayal of religious institutions in horror narratives

This volume is a part of the Theology and Pop Culture series published by Lexington Books/Fortress Academic. It will be co-edited by John Morehead and Brandon R. Grafius. Morehead is the proprietor of, and is a contributor, editor and co-editor to a number of books including The Undead and Theology, Joss Whedon and Religion, The Supernatural Cinema of Guillermo del Toro, and Fantastic Fan Cultures and the Sacred (forthcoming). Grafius is assistant professor of biblical studies at Ecumenical Theological Seminary, whose monograph Reading Phinehas, Watching Slashers: Numbers 25 and Horror Theory was published by Lexington Books/Fortress Academic in 2018.

Abstracts of 300-500 words with CVs should be sent to johnwmorehead@msn.comand bgrafius@etseminary.eduby January 15, 2019. The submission deadline for drafts of manuscripts of 6,000-8,000 words is scheduled for September 1, 2019.


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