For those familiar with the Popular Culture and Philosophy series from either Open Court Publishing or Blackwell, it may surprise you to know that there is not an equivalent series for the discipline of theology, yet the relevance of theological discourse seems important in light of the increasingly religious character of global discourse.
There are those who question the legitimacy of such efforts to popularize academic discourse. If that describes you, please visit www.andphilosophy.com and read William Irwin’s article, “Fancy Taking a Pop?” and Writing for the Reader: A Defense of Philosophy and Popular Culture Books. You might also want to read Naomi Barnes’s article Blogging as a method of inquiry.
People from all backgrounds and traditions are welcome: conservative and progressive, believing and skeptical, theoretician and practitioner. The purpose is to use pop culture (TV, movies, music, etc.) to teach theology (and related fields like Religious Studies and Philosophy of Religion) and to understand different theologians and religious texts. With that said, the emphasis of this site is on theological ideas and themes from particular thinkers, not simply any particular sacred text itself. While grounded in a sacred text, we are looking for theological thought that has been fleshed out through the theological process, one that often combines elements of sacred text, tradition, reason, and experience.
Matthew William Brake is the creator and founder of Pop Culture and Theology. He is a dual masters student in Interdisciplinary Studies and Philosophy at George Mason University. He also has a Master of Divinity from Regent University. He has published numerous articles in the series Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception, Resources. He has chapters in Deadpool and Philosophy, Wonder Woman and Philosophy, and Mr. Robot and Philosophy.
Jonathan H. Harwell (Editor) is the Head of Collections & Systems/Associate Professor at Rollins College’s Olin Library. Before becoming a librarian, he served for two years as a Baptist missionary in Albania. As an anthropologist, he has provided cultural-historical research to Quaker meetings in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. He has edited articles for the Open Library of Humanities and published in Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, the Journal of Electronic Publishing, Against the Grain, and the Journal of Access Services. He is co-editor of Theology and Prince, the inaugural volume in the Theology and Pop Culture series. His reviews of recent books on Prince have appeared in the Journal of Popular Culture and the Journal of Religious & Theological Information. He holds the MA in Social Science from Georgia Southern University and the MLIS from The University of Alabama.
Katherine Kelaidis (Editor) is a writer and scholar whose work focuses on the intersection of religion and politics. You can follow her on Twitter at @katiekelaidis.
Jennifer Anvari (2017-2018) is the co-founder and editor of Pop Culture and Theology. She is an interior stylist, decorator, and organizer at Haven Home Solutions. She graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in English literature, and has written and edited for nonprofits, magazines, blogs, and literary journals.