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Joss Whedon and Religion to be Published by McFarland

I received news today from my co-editor, Tony Mills, that McFarland Publishing has agreed to to publish our book Joss Whedon and Religion.

The description from the accepted proposal:

The works of Joss Whedon — from his hit television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly, to his popular comic book writing on Fray and X-Men, to his upcoming and highly anticipated Avengers film—are among the most influential pop culture phenomena of the last two decades. They are also among the most provocative when it comes to explorations of religion and the important dimensions of the human condition closely associated with it; belief, family, friendship, sexuality, forgiveness, redemption, hope, love, and death all loom large in Whedon’s opus. While several volumes have been written on Whedon from philosophical and cultural studies perspectives, relatively little attention has been given to the religious significance—and implications—of how he portrays these subjects.

The essays in this anthology volume on Joss Whedon and religion address the above topics and other themes pertinent to Whedon’s work through a broad lens, reflecting several traditions and academic methods. Christianity, Buddhism, paganism, and Western esotericism are the most common dialogue partners, but are approached, in different ways, through theology, religious studies, cultural studies, and philosophy of religion. This diversity is meant to present the volume as a strong introduction to the many religiously significant themes of Whedon’s work. At the same time, it is not meant to suggest that religion is the only hermeneutical approach to the Whedonverse, but rather to augment the insights of Whedon’s other intellectual interlocutors. As such, we consider it a companion volume to the other academic anthologies of Whedon’s opus.

To make it as current as possible we need to add two new categories of essays including “Religion and Community in The Avengers,” and “Religion and the End in Cabin in the Woods.” We need to find 2-3 essays for each of these categories, but the rest of the contributions for the volume are in place with a deadline of the end of 2012 for turning over the edited chapters to the publisher. My fellow co-editors include Tony Mills and Ryan Parker.

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