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.

Listen Now

This episode has not been transcribed yet. 

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

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.

 Fund the RSP while you shop! Use an Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, or Amazon.com affiliate link whenever you make a purchase. There’s no additional cost to you, but every bit helps us stay on the air! 

We need your support!

Want to support us directly? Become a monthly Patron or consider giving us a one-time donation through PayPal

Related Resources

Presidentialism, or “Who’s Your Daddy?” | Discourse! October 2020

Podcast

In this October 2020 episode of Discourse!, Andie Alexander, Hina Muneeruddin, and Leslie Dorrough Smith explore ideas of infantile citizens, political debates as spectacle, rhetoric as bumper bowling, fist-fighting viruses, and fake news in the discourses surrounding the US Presidential election.
South American Austral Religions in an Ethnohistorical Comparative Perspective

Podcast

In this episode, Boris Briones talks with Sidney Castillo on his comparative research of the Mapuche and Selk'nam of austral South America. Check it out to learn a thing or two about ethnohistory and scientific divulgation!
Before “Religion”: a History of a Modern Concept

Podcast

Brent Nongbri talks to Jack Tsonis about his recent book, "Before Religion: a History of a Modern Concept". Nongbri provides an overview of the history of "religion" as a concept in the English speaking world, highlighting that the seemingly "natural" or "obvious" definition of the term is actually highly specific to the modern West.

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

Religious Experience

Podcast

In this wide-ranging interview (our 50th!), Ann Taves and David Wilson discuss the concept of religious experience. Taves challenges traditional models of religious experience, rejecting both an essentialist approach with a sui generis category and a constructivist approach which accepts only discourses. Instead, she argues that not only can we examine unusual experiences in themselves, ...
Special 2019: Only Sixty Seconds!

Podcast

For our eighth(!) annual special, Only Sixty Seconds returns! This time, Chris Cotter is your host, as David G. Robertson returns to defend his 2018 crown against Bettina Schmidt, Douglas Davies and Theo Wildcroft. We may not have avoided repetition, but I do not hesitate in promising you no deviation from hilarity!
Science Fiction, Video Games, and Religion

Podcast

Science fiction and video games are more visible than ever as their popularity reaches record numbers. From classic arcade games to modern open-world sandbox simulators that require hundreds of hours to complete fully, science fiction is one of the most common gaming genres. This podcast explores the ways religion and science fiction appear together in these cultural products, asks how gamers see the value of this play, and how we seek belief in things that are 'out of this world' as a means to escape the present by sharing our hopes about the future.
Conspiracy Theories, Public Rhetoric, and Power

Podcast

"You don't go to religious studies conferences with the title of the conference being 'The Problem with Religion,'" so why do we use that rhetoric to talk about conspiracy theories? Listen in to Andie Alexander's interview with RSP co-founder David G. Robertson to find out why!
Visual Culture and the Study of Religion

Podcast

After the keynote, at the EASR, guest interviewer George Ioannides had the opportunity to meet with Professor Meyer to discuss her work, her career, her views on the importance of studying religion and/as material and visual culture, and her advice for students who similarly wish to research topics at the intersection of cultural anthropology and the study of religion.
Discourse #8 (June 2019)

Podcast

This month on Discourse, Breann Fallon, Carole Cusack and Ray Radford approach the Australian news from a Religious Studies perspective. We cover the appeal of Cardinal George Pell, the drama around Israel Folau, and the impact of Christianity on the recent Australian federal election results.

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).