Cosmic horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is the paragon of atheistic nihilism in fiction. For many, Lovecraft is diametrically opposed to everything most fundamental to Christianity, and the only way we might fruitfully engage with Lovecraft’s thought would be to categorically reject it. What hath Arkham to do with Jerusalem? But this volume will explore Lovecraft’s fiction and philosophy from the perspective of Christian faith, exploring ways in which Lovecraft’s extreme positions can helpfully illuminate the distinctives of Christian theology, through both agreement and disagreement. Even if Lovecraft’s sombre vision of the universe cannot be aligned with Christianity, Christian scholars may still value his contributions as those of a Hume or a Nietzsche–a respectable opponent who can sharpen thought and cast new light upon doctrine by way of polemical debate. And if, as is possible, Lovecraft represents a uniquely American, 20th-Century perspective on life and society, then it is even more incumbent upon theologians to attend to him.
The overarching task of the volume will be to show how Lovecraft can sharpen theological discourse, and to explain what so many theologians find appealing in Lovecraft’s corpus. The editor is looking for chapter contributions that deal directly with Lovecraft and the themes he broaches in some specific and circumscribed way. General or diffuse proposals will not be considered. The theological element need not be Christian, but the majority of the chapters will approach the subject from this angle. This is a scholarly project and all writers are expected to engage with the secondary literature as well as the primary texts.
Possible topics include:
Please send a 1-2 page chapter proposal and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals will be evaluated and approved beginning March 1, 2020.
If your chapter is selected, be prepared to submit your draft by September 1, 2020. Chapters should be approximately 20 pages (5-6,000 words).
No proper list of the greatest works of English literature in the twentieth century can exclude the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. His works are not only much-read and beloved, but also Hollywoodized (Peter Jackson), and have launched (or, perhaps, re-envisioned) an entire genre of fiction. As a result, they have made an indelible impression on popular culture, even more so after the release of Jackson’s films.
It is not surprising that Tolkien’s works are ever so subtly deeply theological. Though Tolkien (perhaps wisely) eschewed the outright Christian allegory of his friend-in-writing, C. S. Lewis, there is no doubt from the close reading of his works (as well as a consideration of his personal correspondence) that Tolkien’s world is deeply indebted to Christian theology—even if we may suggest that his work is the ‘Esther’ of the Inklings. Media derivatives, while hewing close to the source material, also put a unique spin on the works’ theology, even as it moves from books to movies to pop culture.
We invite submissions for a peer-reviewed volume on Theology and Tolkien for the Theology and Popular Culture series published by Lexington Books / Fortress Academic. The volume editor is Douglas Estes (associate professor, South University).
The primary objective of this book will be to investigate theological themes in Tolkien’s works—broadly defined—with an eye to pop culture. To help the reader understand the purpose of this book, the essays within will not interact with Tolkien the individual, or his historical background, only his narrative works and their derivatives. Essays will sit at an intersection of theology, culture, and narrative/film.
Essays should focus on the theology of works set within the Tolkien universe in any media, including but not limited to the literary works, the movies, the video games, and the artwork.
Although many of the projected essays will likely consider the primary works, we are especially keen to ensure at least a third of the essays consider theological aspects in Peter Jackson’s film trilogies; further, to have a few essays that use other starting points such as the legendarium, the art of Alan Lee or John Howe (or other), the languages or the culture, the video games, or other, for theological investigation.
Current contributors include Philip Ryken (author of The Messiah Comes to Middle-Earth), Alison Milbank (author of Chesterton and Tolkien as Theologians), and Lisa Coutras (author of Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty: Majesty, Splendor, and Transcendence in Middle-earth).
Possible topics could include:
(These are merely ideas to spur thinking, great ideas beyond these are encouraged.)
The target audience for this book is scholars of religion, theology, and literature, though given the topic essays are to be written in a manner accessible to the average educated reader and jargon-free. Prospective contributors should submit abstracts of 300-700 words and full CVs to email@example.com by May 15, 2020. Contributors should expect to deliver full chapters of 5000–6000 words by May 15, 2021, with editorial revisions due by Aug 15, 2021.
About the Editor:
Douglas Estes (PhD, University of Nottingham) is associate professor of New Testament and practical theology at South University. Douglas has written or edited nine books; his most recent books are a Greek grammar resource, Questions and Rhetoric in the Greek New Testament (Zondervan, 2017), and an edited volume (with Ruth Sheridan) on narrative dynamics in John’s Gospel, How John Works: Storytelling in the Fourth Gospel (SBL Press, 2016). He is the editor of Didaktikos: Journal of Theological Education (Lexham Press) and a regular contributor to Christianity Today.
For more information see: Pop Culture and Theology.
Call for Papers: Theology and Spider-Man
Volume Editor: George Tsakiridis, PhD
Abstract and CV Due: November 30, 2019
Final Paper Due: May 1, 2020
He’s the classic superhero of the Marvel age: Spider-Man. Marvel comics wouldn’t be the titan of content it is without him. He’s been portrayed in multiple comic books, television series, and movies. His marketing is ubiquitous. There are few superheroes of the last fifty years that match his prominence. Spider-Man is a perfect match for the Theology and Pop Culture series.
Spider-Man has always been a fun superhero. He exemplifies youthful innocence combined with deep love and loss. This volume will explore themes of identity, happiness, and relationship, as well as look at bioethical issues. After all Peter Parker is a scientist at heart, and bioethics and science are interwoven into the narrative and the villains in ways far greater than other superheroes of his prominence. Salvation and anthropology will be central also, as most all superhero explorations are. The nuance and flavor changes, but the key themes remain the same. In complement to a themed volume, I encourage essays that look at individual presentations of Spider-Man and the theology contained therein. For example, looking at the theology of the multiple cartoon series, the comic books, and many multiple series of movies.
Some potential topics will include:
-Bioethics in Spider-Man (I can foresee more than one entry on this topic given the fact that science and experiments are such a central part of the series, i.e. Lizard, Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man, etc.).
-Harmatiology/Soteriology in Spider-Man
-Theological Anthropology in the Villains of Spider-Man (and Spidey himself!)
-Identity as a Theological Construct in the Various Incarnations of Spider-Man
-Theology and Religious Themes in the 1967 Cartoon Series
-Theology and Religious Themes in Television and Movies
-An Iconography of Spider-Man: Toys and Marketing
-The Icon of Spider-Man: Differing Portrayals by Different Artists – The Visual Theology of Steve Ditko to Todd McFarlane and Beyond
-Feminist Theology and the Women of Spider-Man: Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy, and The Black Cat (to name a few)
-J. Jonah Jameson: An Examination in (not so much) Care for the Other
-Applying Theological Categories to Spidey in Video Games.
-Spidey in Two-Natures: The Symbiosis of the Black Suit and Peter Parker (and Venom)
Other topics, theses, and overall great essay ideas are welcome, but the predominate focus should be on the portrayals of Spider-Man in various media forms and the theological categories that transcend those forms.
Abstracts should be between 500 and 750 words and should present a basic outline of your potential contribution to the volume and potential methodology. If you make the initial cut, you will be contacted by Dr. Tsakiridis to discuss and finalize your contribution to the volume. Send an abstract and a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. Final drafts will be approximately 5,000 to 8,000 words, but exact word counts for each article will be discussed at the time of acceptance.
Dr. George Tsakiridis
South Dakota State University
For the Full announcement see: https://popularcultureandtheology.com/2019/09/06/call-for-papers-theology-and-spider-man/