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 fifteen years, Riordan has published an impressive twenty-one books, which have come to be known as the Riordanverse. This includes the sub-series of Percy Jackson and the Olympians,The Heroes of OlympusThe Trials of ApolloMagnus Chase and the Gods of AsgardThe Kane Chronicles, along with two collections of short stories.

While Riordan’s works have been acknowledged for the ways they reimagine the stories of Classical Mythology in the modern world, they also join a long tradition of young adult and middle grade fantasy literature that has attracted the attention of Religion and Literature scholars. This volume seeks to explore the books of the Riordanverse from those perspectives, asking how these works engage with the religious imagination, pose and/or answer theological questions, or talk about and illuminate the relationship between religion and culture.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

·     Celestial Bronze Weapons and Just War Theory

·     The Divine as Human in The Trails of Apollo

·     The Relationship of Prophecy and Free Will in relationship to the Oracle of Delphi

·     Comparative Religions/Mythologies and myth displacement in the Riordanverse

·     Images of Hell and Punishment in the Underworld

·     Nico di Angelo and Alex Fierro and Queer Theory and/or Liberation Theology

·     Environmental Theology around Pan and Grover

·     The Absence of Gods in Claiming and the Fading of the Olympians

·     The Relationship between “Metaphysical Gods” and the Gods of the Riordanverse

·     Depictions of non-Christian religious traditions and intersectionality in the Riordanverse (such as Magnus Chase’s atheism, voodoo influences on Hazel Levesque, and Samirah al-Abbas’s Islam)

·     Generational issues and tensions in the Riordanverse

·     Imagining the future in the Riordanverse

·     Imagining empire, community and culture in the Riordanverse

The editors invite submissions on these topics and others for a volume titled Theology and the Riordanverse, to be published by Lexington Books / Fortress Academic in the Theology and Pop Culture series.

Interested authors can submit proposals and questions to theologyandriordanverse@gmail.com. Proposals should be between 300–700 words. Please attach a CV and abstract of your proposed chapter. Chapter length will depend on number of submissions but are expected to be 5000–6000 words.

Proposal Due Date: August 1, 2021

Chapter Submission Due: February 15, 2022

Dr. Carolyn Medine(PhD, University of Virginia) is a Professor in the Religion Department and Professor and Director of the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Georgia. Dr. Medine’s research focuses on African American women’s religion, African American Buddhists, and religion and literature. She teaches a Religion and Literature course that focuses on the writings of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien.

Nathan E. Fleesonis a PhD student in Religion at the University of Georgia. He studies the way fantasy literature evokes the religious imagination to mediate relationships with God and the world around us. He currently teaches an introductory course in Religious Thought at UGA based around the Percy Jackson books.

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