Religion, Pop Culture and Video Games

An eclectic bunch of links today, focusing upon biblical literacy, religion and video games, and video games as a way of creating wellbeing.

First up a new book from Heidi Campbell and Gregory Grieve

Quick review here: Religion Book Review: Playing with Religion in Digital Games by Heidi A. Campbell and Gregory P. Grieve.

Next a link to Bible literacy is going up, not down – thanks, Lady Gaga; The UK Bible Society survey mentioned can be found here.

And finally, Tapping Into the Emotional Side of Video Games: Developing Hope, Healing and Love.

Related links to this latter one include the use of the games mentioned here in church settings – See http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-08/09/geekdad-hatches-exeter-cathedrals-journey-service and http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00sg1fq

New media, religion and the interaction between the two

Now that the semester has ended and I’m clearing my desk (virtual and otherwise) of things that have accumulated there, here’s a list of links on media, religion and often the intersection between the two that I found interesting.

Updating the door – Here come the warrior nuns!

During February my office door was covered in images of angels in popular culture. For March I’ve decided to go with warrior nuns in comic book culture. So my door now looks like this.

Warrior Nuns

Warrior Nuns

I may add some more to it, but I think with The Magdalena, Warrior Nun Areala, The Sisterhood and Chrono Crusade I have most bases covered.

Suggestions for April? I’m thinking posthuman/cyborg thoughts.

See also: The return of Magdalena | Greenflame.

Christianity, Rene Girard, and The Hunger Games

A link from a while back, but I was reminded about it today when talking to one of our PhD students who has the essay “Sacred Men and Sacred Goats: Mimetic Theory in Levitical and Passion Intertext” in this recent book: Bloomsbury – Violence, Desire, and the Sacred.

See – Human Sacrifice, Your New Name Is “Reality TV”: Christianity, Rene Girard, and The Hunger Games | TheMoralMindfield.

Doorway to angelic realms

Angel-Door-2I’m currently working on turning my conference paper on theology, angels and vampires into a journal article and decided, having been quite bored last Friday afternoon, to move on from 2012 when I covered my office door with cartoons to creating for February an angels in popular culture display.

So here it is. Hoping it will inspire the paper writing (and a few more people to think about doing THEOLOGY 101 – The Bible in Popular Culture). Also a good conversation starter.

(Click on image for larger view)

World-building

A couple of articles related to creating worlds to inhabit in fiction and popular culture.

The first, drawn to my attention by a colleague who knows I’m in vampires in popular culture mode at the moment, talks about world-building within the Twilight novels and books and some intersections with religion and spirituality in those worlds.

The second is an op-ed piece by Saladin Ahmed, the author of “Throne of the Crescent Moon” (which I quite enjoyed), who talks about the ‘homes’ that people find in the worlds created particularly in fantasy fiction. See: At Home In Fantasy’s Nerd-Built Worlds : NPR

Like a detailed model railroad the size of a football field, or a small city of fully furnished dollhouses, the well-built fantasy world astonishes us with the vastness of its intricacies. And from this wood, paint, cloth, metal, and hours and hours of painstaking nerds’ work, a kind of magic is made.

A much more detailed essay on world-building from kiwi Dylan Horrocks can be found at the link below, as well as in the following collection of essays.

  • http://www.hicksville.co.nz/PerfectPlanet.htm
  • Horrocks, Dylan. “The Perfect Planet: Comics, Games and Word-Building.” In Writing at the Edge of the Universe, edited by Mark Williams, 197-223. Christchurch, N.Z.: Canterbury University Press, 2004.

Of course, one of the classic essays on world-building is this one: