EXTENDED Call for Papers: Theology and the DC Universe

Over the last several years, scholars have demonstrated the salience of popular culture as a site for the academic study of religion, in areas including video games, science fiction, film, and comics. The study of religion and comics is flourishing with several monographs, edited volumes, and articles having come out in the last several years. As of yet, there has not been any sustained focus and investigation of the religion and theology in the DC Universe. The DC Universe is particularly rich for such work, given the important role DC Comics played in the development of the superhero. Characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman have become key threads in the tapestry of the American mythos, and stories set within the shared universe of DC characters have explored questions of death, rebirth, the apocalypse, the nature of evil, the origins of the universe, and the destiny of humankind.

We are inviting submissions for a peer-reviewed volume on Religion and Theology in the DC Universe for the Theology and Popular Culture series published by Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield. The volume will be edited by Roshan Abraham (scholar-in-residence, American University) and Gabriel Mckee (author, The Gospel According to Science Fiction and Pink Beams of Light From the God in the Gutter: The Science Fictional Religion of Philip K. Dick). Essays should focus on works set within the shared DC Universe in any media, including but not limited to comics, film, television, and video games.

The target audience for this book is scholars of religion, theology, and comparative literature, though essays should also be accessible for educated non-specialists. Prospective authors should submit abstracts of 300-700 words and full CVs to gm95@nyu.edu and rjabraham301@gmail.com by October 31, 2019. Authors should expect to deliver full chapters by September 1, 2020, with editorial revisions (if necessary) due by November 15, 2020, for a full manuscript delivery date of December 1, 2020.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Crisis and apocalypse: Shared-universe eschatology
  • God(s) as a character(s) in the DC Universe
  • Pacifist theology and the “no-killing rule”
  • Wonder Woman and the ancient Greek gods
  • Egyptology and the Egyptian gods of Doctor Fate, Shazam, Hawkman, and Blue Beetle
  • Swamp Thing and the theology of the monstrous
  • Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and ecotheology
  • Divine retribution/redemption and the Spectre
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