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.

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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?

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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.

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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."

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