Journal of Religion and Popular Culture

Articles from Vol. 25, No. 1, Spring

"An Extreme Sense of Destiny": Bob Dylan, Affect, and Final Causation
Finalism is not, like mechanism, a doctrine with fixed rigid outlines. It admits of as many inflections as we like. The mechanistic philosophy is to be taken or left; it must be left if the least grain of dust, by straying from the path foreseen by...
Godwired: Religion, Ritual and Virtual Reality
Wagner, Rachel. Godwired: Religion, Ritual and Virtual Reality. New York: Routledge, 2012. 266 pp. $39.95 (US). ISBN: 978-0-415-78145-9 The rapid development of media and digital technology in the last few decades has inspired a great deal of research...
Harry Potter and the Legends of Saints
Anne Hiebert Alton (2003), noting the elements of many diverse genres in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, calls the works a "generic mosaic" (159), and others have made similar observations. For instance, June Cummins (2008) notes that the Gothic...
Is the Da Vinci Code True?
Gidion Kambapwi lay dying of cancer. He had lived a good life that had offered many unexpected pains and pleasures. Among the latter, Gidion counted his strange friendship with the gigantic white stranger from the Other Side, who had lived among his...
"Let Them Have Dominion": "Dominion Theology" and the Construction of Religious Extremism in the US Media
In the summer of 2011 speculation about the religious commitments of the 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls dominated certain sectors of the popular press in the United States. Much of this coverage focused on the problem posed by a largely unknown...
Marking Mormon Difference: How Western Perceptions of Islam Defined the "Mormon Menace"
Introduction In the mid-nineteenth century, lurid tales of a Mormon menace circulated widely in the United States. Anti-Mormon writers used these highly imaginative narratives to demonstrate the religious and political dangers they believed the...
Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting
W. Scott Poole. Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2011. 277 + xviii pp. $29.95 (US). ISBN: 978-160258314-6 There is now a growing fascination--I hope not a momentary...
"No Magic against Love," or Dark Seduction Redirected: Perspectives on the Fantasy Film Krabat
"So, there you are. You can work as my apprentice, I need one." --Krabat (dir. M. Kreuzpaintner, 2008) Marco Kreuzpaintner's film Krabat opens with these words from the master miller (Christian Redl) as he emerges from the shadows. The scene...
Religion and Science Fiction
McGrath, James F., Ed. Religion and Science Fiction. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2011.195 + viii pp. paperback $22.00 (US). ISBN: 978-1-60899-886-9 This anthology edited by James McGrath consists of eight chapters, each of which addresses various religious...
Religious Thought as Manifested in the Musical Content of George Harrison's Brainwashed
Michael Gilmour's 2004 article in the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture is a study of George Harrison's final album, Brainwashed. Since the work was inspired by Harrison's Hindu faith, the record is distinct among albums by Western musicians...
Some More Light on the Text: Watching HBO's Deadwood with and without the Apostle Paul
"If you're preachin' at me, Reverend, you need to put some more light on the text." --Seth Bullock* The Apostle Paul on TV's Frontier With the successful release of the Cohen Brothers' "non-remake" of True Grit (and the subsequent reappearance...
Suicide Bombing: The Cultural Foundations of Morocco's New Version of Martyrdom
Introduction The general line of scientific inquiry on the social phenomenon of suicide bombing--reconstructed in this study from the ethnographic perspective of local social actors in Morocco as an instance of martyrdom--fluctuates between two...
The Celluloid Madonna: From Scripture to Screen
O'Brien, Catherine. The Celluloid Madonna: From Scripture to Screen. London and New York: Wallflower Press, 2011. 192 + x pp. $25.00 (US). ISBN: 978-1-906660-27-7 As an off-shoot of interest in Jesus movies, critical interest in cinematic portrayals...
The Embodied Eye: Religious Visual Culture and the Social Life of Feeling
Morgan, David. The Embodied Eye: Religious Visual Culture and the Social Life of Feeling. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012. 280 pp. pbk $29.95 (US). ISBN: 978-052027223-1 In The Embodied Eye, Morgan addresses the fields of religious...
The Theology of Dracula: Reading the Book of Stoker as Sacred Text
Rarignac, Noel Montague-Etienne. The Theology of Dracula: Reading the Book of Stoker as Sacred Text. Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland and Company, 2012. 234 pp. $40.95 (CAD). ISBN: 978-0-7864-6499-9 Bram Stoker's Dracula, the classic tale of...