Pop Culture Animation and Religion

I've just become aware of a new book based upon a PhD dissertation. It's titled Drawn to the Gods: Religion and Humor in the Simpsons, South Park, & Family Guy by David Feltmate (NYU Press, 2017). The dissertation was supervised by Douglas Cowan, a friend of TheoFantastique who has been interviewed here several times previously on his great work on religion and horror and science fiction. Feltmate's book is the subject of a recent podcast at Here's the description:

If you were asked to name the TV programs with the most religious content and references what would you name? 7th Heaven, Supernatural or perhaps Games of Thrones? How many of us would name animated television series such as The Simpsons, Family Guy or South Park? These television series are amongst the most religions on our screens. Indeed, 95% of The Simpsons episodes, 84% of Family Guy episodes, and 78% of South Park episodes contain explicit religious references. These animated comedy shows are critically influential in teaching viewers about religious people and religious institutions. The commentary created via the intersection between humour, satire, and religion in these TV shows, particularly in their own context of America, creates an interesting image of what it supposedly means to be a “good religious American”. In this podcast Associate Professor David Feltmate, author of Drawn to the Gods: Religion and Humor in The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy, chats to Breann Fallon about the manner in which these three television shows create a broad commentary on religion for the general public. Feltmate highlights the central place these animate programs have in the proliferation of ideas about the spiritual and the religious, as heavily consumed mediums of popular culture.

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