Happy May the Fourth! Today we bring you a special episode of The Religious Studies Project to celebrate 2020’s International Star Wars Day. After the release of Star Wars film in 1977, it became obvious that creator George Lucas had tapped into something profound. Over the next few decades, Star Wars became a behemoth worth billions of dollars and a multi-media franchise spanning film, television, video games, comic books, novels, theme parks, toys, and much more. Since 2012, the RSP has touched on Star Wars many times, most often in discussions of invented, fictional, or hyper-real religions. Enjoy the selections from six different episodes as we learn why this franchise and other popular cultural institutions are important sites for the production of identity and the construction of the category of religion.
To hear the original recordings, please visit the following episodes:
- Episode 321: Artificial Intelligence and Religion — Christopher Cotter interviews Beth Singler (February 2020)
- Episode 281: Slenderman and Online Mythology — Ross Downing interviews Vivian Asimos (February 2019)
- Episode 235: Hyper-Real Religion, Digital Capitalism and the Pygmalion Effect — Sammy Bishop interviews Adam Possamai (November 2017)
- Episode 190: Categorising Religion from Case Studies to Methodology — Breann Fallon interviews Teemu Taira (September 2016)
- Episode 12: Fiction-based Religions — Christopher Cotter interviews Markus Davidsen (April 2012)
- Episode 3: Invented Religions — David G Roberston interviews Carole Cusack (January 2012)