Religious Futurisms collection CFP

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for a forthcoming collection of essays on the broad topic of Religious Futurisms, to be edited by Sumeyra Buran Utku and Jim Clarke.

Information and updates on this project may be found here on Facebook.

Religious Futurisms derives its intellectual inspiration from the emergence of Afrofuturism and other Alternative Futurisms as ideological and analytical frameworks in recent years. Religious Futurisms can manifest as ideology, criticality, prophecy, futurology, philosophy or artistic practice. They may be discerned in a wide range of forms, ranging from speculative theology to performative videogame interaction to abstract or polysemous imagery in visual art.

Fundamentally global and interdisciplinary in nature, Religious Futurisms encompass not only attempts within theology to reframe and examine faith-based futures, but also the lengthy tradition of revelatory knowledge forms as theme and mode within speculative fiction and other texts and formats of speculative artistic expression, such as film, television, music, gaming, comics, graphic novels, visual and conceptual art, theatre and poetry.

Faith-related themes and narratives have proliferated in speculative fiction since its earliest manifestations, and feature heavily in some of SF’s most popular and influential texts, such as Dune, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. However, Marxist and materialist modes of academic critical analysis have tended to shy away from addressing Religious Futurisms. This volume of essays seeks to address that gap in scholarship.

In this first attempt to codify and taxonomise the various strands and manifestations of Religious Futurism, the editors invite abstracts for essays which address any of the following topics:

  • Futurological approaches to existing terrestrial religions in artistic expression.
  • Futuristic approaches to theology.
  • The depiction of religion or faith in speculative artforms.
  • The intersection of Religious Futurism with other Futurisms, such as Afrofuturism, Sinofuturism, Chicanofuturism and so on.
  • The intersection of Religious Futurism with other emancipatory ideological modes of analysis, such as gender studies, queer studies, critical race theory, disability studies, etc.
  • Religious futurism and utopia or dystopia.
  • Posthumanism or Transhumanism and Religious Futurism.
  • Cyberpunk and Religious Futurism.
  • Islamofuturisms, Sufi Futurism, and their relationships with Gulf Futurisms.
  • Judeofuturisms.
  • Futurisms of Christianity.
  • Futurisms of religions of sub-continental origin – Hindufuturism, Buddhist futurism, Sikh futurism, etc.
  • Religious Sinofuturism and other East Asian religious futurisms, such as Taoist Futurism and Confucian Futurism.
  • Religious Futurism in Techno-Orientalism.
  • Indigenous belief futurisms and Shamanic futurisms.
  • Mystical, Esoteric and Mythic Futurisms which relate to religious belief.
  • The depiction, reception, repurposing or Alienating (attributing to aliens) of antiquated or ancient faith systems (Egyptian, Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Nordic, Greco-Roman, Animist, etc) in futuristic cultural works.
  • Invented religions and theology in speculative fiction and speculative artforms.
  • The development of real-world faith practices out of speculative fiction and other speculative artistic genres, for example Jediism.
  • Conceptualisations of Alien or Artificial Intelligence revelatory practices, faiths and religions.
  • Messianics, Apocalypse, Rapture, Chiliasm, Millenarism, or other faith future endpoints in speculative artforms and fiction.
  • Speculative religious cosmology and cosmogony.
  • Speculative exegetical forms, such as Philip K. Dick’s VALIS, or Erich Von Däniken’s paleo-contact Biblical hypotheses.
  • Conversion, proselytising and dogma in religious futurisms.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a 100 word bio and affiliation by December 1st 2021. We aim to inform successful contributors by January 31st 2022, and completed drafts of 5,000 – 7,500 words will be required by May 31st 2022.

Abstracts should be emailed to: religiousfuturisms@gmail.com.

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