Call for Papers: Theology and Protest Music

Editors: Dr. Heidi M. Altman (haltman@georgiasouthern.edu) & Jonathan H. Harwell (jharwell@rollins.edu) Theology and Pop Culture is currently seeking contributions for a potential edited volume of essays on theology from various faiths connected with protest music of various popular genres.  Essays should be written for academics, but avoid jargon in order to be accessible for the layperson.  Women…

IT’S A SIN and the Church’s Response to Shame and Suffering

By Rev. Christopher West “He lies there all day, dying of shame.” So runs one of the most startling lines in Russell T. Davies’ latest television drama, It’s a Sin. The series is based on his own experiences and losses, and it follows three eighteen-year-olds – Ritchie, Roscoe, and Colin – as they move to London…

Religion and Ethnicity in Antiquity, The Mandalorian, and Today

By David Armstrong The emerging consensus in studies of the historical Jesus, Paul, his letters, the Gospel, and the New Testament more generally is that these figures and texts belong squarely within first-century Judaism, and that our notion of “Judaism” in antiquity cannot be reduced to the modern concept of “religion.” For all ancient peoples,…

Shameless: The Poverty of Sin in the Absence of God

By Andrew D. Thrasher Shameless. Such an apt title. Running eleven seasons spanning over ten years, Shameless has captured aptly the habitus of American poverty. It is marked by systemic poverty and the struggle to survive. It is marked by manipulation of the system, the brokenness of love, and the habitual dispositions of sin. Shameless captures the…

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s POWERS OF X #2

Those of you who follow this blog regularly know that I’ve been providing links to a series of blogs by David Canham over at Sequart analyzing religious themes in Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X series. The following is an excerpt from the latest entry in the blog series: “X-Men stories often deal with…

V for Vendetta and Abraham Joshua Heschel in a Post-Trump America

By Matthew Brake When an immoral leader leaves office, it’s too easy for his detractors to breath a sigh of relief in the hopes of “going back to the way things were.” And for the moment, that’s fine, but we must do the hard work of asking about the conditions that allow such a leader…

The Pastor of Cobra Kai

As she often does, our friend Rev. Leah D. Schade at the EcoPreacher blog has written another great blog on a piece of pop culture–the hit series Cobra Kai! Rev. Schade specifically points out how the series does an excellent job of accurately portraying a mainline Protestant pastor: “He didn’t turn into a Bible-beating, gay-hating,…

Analyzing Religion in Jonathan Hickman’s HOUSE OF X #2

David Canham has been working on a series for our friends at Sequart analyzing the religious ideas and symbolism in Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men run. David has a really great piece looking at the theme of reincarnation in the character of Moira MacTaggert. David does an excellent job analyzing the characters and comparing the form of…

2020: Top Five Posts

2020 was certainly a tumultuous year. I’m proud of all of the contributors to the blog, especially those who contributed something timely to the circumstances we found ourselves in, whether concerning the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests, or the rise of of conspiracy theories in our national discourse. I wanted to highlight the most…

Matisyahu’s “One Day” and the Burden of Hope: An Advent Reflection

By Danny Anderson This semester, I taught Chaim Potok’s The Chosen, the story of young, Hasidic Jew, Danny Saunders, and his journey to an orthodoxy that still engages the world outside his Hasidic community.  In an attempt to explain that dynamic to my mostly Catholic students, I brought up the example of Matisyahu, the hip-hop-reggae-human beatbox…