Happy New Year to all! We start the year off by exploring how Popular Culture can open up important theological conversations. Joining the show this week is Matthew Brake, founder and editor of Popular Culture and Theology, a book series from Lexington Books and Fortress Academic, and an accompanying blog. What is the importance for exploring theology in pop culture? Why is it controversial in some quarters? What are the limitations of academia? How can Sectarian Review listeners submit blog posts and article ideas? All this, plus Danny once again tries to defend Justice League!
Pop Culture and Theology
“Fancy Taking a Pop?” - William Irwin defends the growth of books on pop culture and philosophy.
Joining the show today is Dr. Douglas E. Cowan, Professor of Religious Studies and Social Development Studies at Renison University College. Cowan has recently published a book for NYU Press called America’s Dark Theologian: The Religious Imagination of Stephen King. In the book, Cowan argues that King’s fiction represents a way of “doing” theology outside the traditional structures of historical churches. The argument has immense implications for both theology and popular culture studies. Tune in and learn how King’s work qualifies as theological and why academia too often dismisses the work of popular writers. Is academia its own kind of priesthood, guarding its own traditions? Also, what is the distinction between “answers” and “questions” in theology? How does King’s work challenge the idea of “safe” religion? What King’s work has to say about Ritual, Theodicy, and Cosmology? How does Pet Sematary model a comparative religions seminar? Many thanks to Doug Cowan for a fun, educational discussion.
America’s Dark Theologian
C. Derick Varn joins the show again for a discussion about a current controversy in academia. Recently, three scholars, James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian wrote and submitted 20 hoax-academic papers to journals the three identify as politically-motivated “Grievance Studies” outlets. Tune in to learn about the controversy among academics and pundits about the “Sokol Squared” controversy. Learn about original Sokol hoax and what role these projects might play in correcting academic excesses. Along the way, learn about the technocratic nightmare of the academic publishing industrial complex. And what does any of this have to do with the “intellectual dark web?” All this and more. Hey don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or your favorite pod catcher!
Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship
What the Grievance Studies Hoax Actually Reveals
What the Grievance Studies Hoax Means
The Grievance Studies Scandal: Five Academics Respond