What better way to end our series on Religion and Cultural Production than with a podcast combining two of my favourite topics - religion and comic books (and we will have none of your middle-class renaming "graphic novels" round RSP HQ)! Today, RSP assistant editor Per Smith talks to A. David Lewis and attempts to delineate an emergent and very rich sub-discipline.

About this episode

graven-imagesWhat better way to end our series on Religion and Cultural Production than with a podcast combining two of my favourite topics – religion and comic books (and we will have none of your middle-class renaming “graphic novels” round RSP HQ)! Today, RSP assistant editor Per Smith talks to A. David Lewis and attempts to delineate an emergent and very rich sub-discipline. While some comic books tell traditional (or invented) religious stories, others touch upon religious themes more indirectly. In discussing the many ways that this relationship can unfold David touches upon broader issues of interest to religion scholars like the place of imagery within religious traditions. Prohibitions against certain types of religious images can, for instance, pose challenges to comic book artists desiring to tell certain kinds of religious stories. He also delves into the superhero archetype, and discusses how the comic book genre is particularly suited to tell stories of a mythological character. And what does any of this have to do with Scientology? You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us. And remember, you can use our Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com links to support us at no additional cost when buying any of the excellent comics mentioned in this podcast. This podcast concludes our series on religion and cultural production, featuring interviews with Michel Dejardins on Religion and FoodFrançois Gauthier on Religion, Neoliberalism and Consumer CulturePauline Hope Cheong on Religious Authority and Social Media, and Carole Cusack on Religion and Cultural Production.

This episode has not been transcribed yet. 

Consider a donation to pay for the cost of editing a transcript?

Related Resources

Religion as a Species of Human Activity

Response

From Jonathan Z. Smith we learned that "religion is not its own genus of human activity, but a species of it," writes Willi Braun in this response to Andie Alexander's interview with Aaaron Hughes at the "Thinking With Jonathan Z. Smith" Conference in Trondheim earlier in 2019.
Religious Studies as a Discipline

Podcast

Aaron Hughes (University of Rochester) has been a vocal critic of some of the theories and methods used by religious studies scholars working on Islam. In this podcast, he discusses his critique of the discipline and practice of religious studies he has made through works such as Situating Islam (Equinox, 2008), Theorizing Islam (Equinox, 2012), Abrahamic Religions (Oxford, 2012), The Study of Judaism (SUNY, 2013), and, most recently, Islam and the Tyranny of Authenticity (Equinox, 2015).
Religion and Law

Playlist

In this playlist learn how legal systems play a fundamental role in shaping the public's understanding of religion.

Responses to this episode

Superhero Shamans and Magickal Scribes: Appraising the study of Religion and Comics

"Wright (2007), for example, has suggested that, “the modern superhero is a contemporary manifestation of the ancient shamanic role” (2007:127). While Pedler has argued that, “Morrison’s mission [...is] to make our reality as interesting as theirs, as surreal, full of every potential and possibility” (Pedler, 2009:264), making them, in effect, shamanic fictions."

Other EPISODES YOU MIGHT ENJOY

Holocaust Museums as Sacred-Secular Space

Podcast

In this interview, @Bre_Fallon talks to Dr Avril Alba on the tension between the secular and the sacred in Holocaust Museums.
Peter Collins on Religion and the Built Environment

Podcast

Buildings dominate our skylines, they shape the nature, size, sound and smell of events within their walls, they provide a connection to the recent and distant past, and they serve as a physical, material instantiation of any number of contextual discourses. But what about the relationship between 'religion' and these (generally) human-made structures?
Sufism

Podcast

In this interview, Milad Milani discusses the basic orientation and history of Sufi thought. He also speaks about the diverse national variations of Sufism, particularly with respect to Iranian (or “Persianate”) Sufism. The interview concludes with a few critical remarks on the questionable appropriation of Sufism in contemporary Western discourses on religion.
Religion and Globalization

Podcast

What do we mean by globalization? What does this concept have to say to the study of religion? How have religions been agents in the globalization process? What theoretical and methodological issues arise when trying to answer such questions? All of these questions and more are tackled in an interview which touches on post-colonialism, secularization theory, theodicy, ...
God and Mathematics

Podcast

What does math have to do with religion? In his interview with Hans van Eyghen, author Chris Ransford discusses his latest book 'God and the Mathematics of Infinity'. He discusses why mathematics is useful for thinking about religion, covering some of the conclusions he draws in the book.You can download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast,If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us. And remember,...
Narrative and Reflexivity in the Study of Religion: A Roundtable Discussion (Video and Audio!)

Podcast

The idea for this roundtable was that it would follow on directly from this week's interview on religion and literature, but expand the discussion to cover a variety of points relating to narrative, autobiography and (auto)ethnography in the study of religion. Featuring Dr Wendy Dossett, Prof. Elaine Graham, Dr Dawn Llewellyn, Ethan Quillen, and Dr Alana Vincent.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

The views expressed in podcasts, features and responses are the views of the individual contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Religious Studies Project or our sponsors. The Religious Studies Project is produced by the Religious Studies Project Association (SCIO), a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (charity number SC047750).