Religion and Fantasy in Contemporary Popular Culture


The Interaction of Family and Religious Values in the World of “Supernatural”

The article considers the concept of “supernatural” in the cult television series of the same name, which is a representative example of modern mass culture. The authors consider its structural characteristics and analyze in detail the two closely related value-practical structures: the concept of the family and the relationship with the supernatural. They find in the series an archaic concept of the family as a blood brotherhood opposing the outside world.

Religious Cults in the Fictional World of the RPG “Witchhunter”

This paper deals with religions found in the fictional world of “The Witcher” videogame. Within this fantasy universe, religious communities, institutions and conflicts are not constructed around theological doctrines, nor do they refer to the issues usually associated with religious faith (such as cosmology, eschatology, ethics or worship). Instead, their cornerstone appears to be the question regarding violence and their attitude towards the Other.

Conflict of Immortalities: Biopolitics of Cerebral Subject and Religious Life in “Altered Carbon”

The article explores a possible conflict between practical and ethical implications of scientific and religious discourses about human nature proposed by the sci-fi series “Altered Carbon.” It discusses the clash between biopolitically implemented technology and the religious life. The scientific discourse is represented by the “ideology of the cerebral subject” (F. Vidal, F. Ortega), which establishes the connection between the brain and the self. A brief examination of examples of the embodiment of this ideology in science fiction and its general logic follows.

Messiah in Depression: Religion, Science-Fiction and Postmodernism in Neon Genesis Evangelion

The article explores the anime-series “Neon Genesis Evangelion” (1995–1996). The work is considered as a cultural product within the science-fiction tradition of the second half of the twentieth century. It is shown that the complexity of the series consists in how it weaves elements of Shinto and Abrahamic religions as equally relevant. Through the use of religious topics, the science fiction work acquires inner cognitive logic.

Black Mirror, Implicit Religion and the Sacralisation of Bingeing Science Fiction

This article analyses the way in which Black Mirror’s contemporary TV science fiction doesn’t just infuse science fiction (SF) with a narratively supernatural force, but implicitly reflects on religious matters and even acts as a version of “implicit religion”. The author argues that Black Mirror’s reception context, as a show that is frequently binged by fans, positions it in relation to experiences of the sacred within consumerist everyday life.

Waiting for a Miracle: The Sociology of Replicants as Political Theology (Blade Runner 2049)

The author presents a philosophical analysis of the film “Blade Runner 2049” (2017, directed by Denis Villeneuve) — the sequel to the famous film “Blade Runner” (1982, directed by Ridley Scott). Both films are read as a political-theological statement. They feature creatures that are biologically almost indistinguishable from humans, the “replicants”. They are used to colonize distant planets and are forbidden to live on Earth.

“Dragon Age: Inquisition”: Christian Message in a Post-Secular World

This article deals with religious, specifically, Christian message in the videogame “Dragon Age: Inquisition”, released in 2014 by Bioware. In order to understand the specifics of this game, the article includes detailed analysis of traditional ways to present religion, gods and believers widespread in the genre to which “Dragon Age: Inquisition” belongs — the so-called role-playing games (RPG). Special attention is given to the way “Dragon Age: Inquisition” utilizes common set of narrative techniques and game mechanics often presented in the games of this genre.

Hyper-Real Religion, Lovecraft and the Cult of The Evil Dead

Hyper-Real Religion, Lovecraft and the Cult of The Evil Dead The article deals with the media franchise “The Evil Dead” in the context of new religiousity. The author addresses the reasons of the increasing reputation of the franchise as an important phenomenon of popular culture which grew out from a low-budget independent film. This fame cannot be explained only by the fact that it has become a transmedia phenomenon (musical, theater, video games, comics, remake, TV series, etc.).

Religion and Popular Fantasy

No. 3 (37) 2019