Over in the Comic Book Resources discussion forums, the poster dubbed “USERNAME TAKEN” questioned religious representation in superhero comics — “If comics are to truly represent an increasingly diverse society, why aren’t there more religious heroes in comics.” The prompt has triggered nearly 100 responses in just over one week, including those from both sides of the divide, whether there is or there is not adequate religious representation in superhero comics.
Are, as poster Kieran_Frost says, comics readers “much more accepting of race, gender and sexuality [and likely…] more accepting of religion in characters, at-least more tolerant than many are assuming?”
From Dr. James F. McGrath, the man behind Religion and Science Fiction:
Doctor Who is a cultural phenomenon in both the UK and the United States, continuing to go from strength-to-strength as it approaches its 50th anniversary in 2013. Over the show’s long history on television—and in various spin-off TV shows, audio adventures, novels and comic books—religion and religious themes have consistently been a subject of interest. In recent years the show has attracted everything from Church of England conferences dedicated to its use in preaching to guest appearances by Richard Dawkins. Abstracts of 300 words are therefore invited for a proposed edited collection examining Religion and Doctor Who. The collection will consider the subject in its widest sense, examining portrayals of religion on the show, in spin-off media (including TV, audio, internet, comic books and video games); fan cultures, and the use of Doctor Who in religious debates. The book will be aimed at popular-academic readership. Possible subjects include, but are not limited to:
• Religious or mythic themes (salvation, return, ritual etc.) in the series.
• Critiques and deconstructions of religion in Doctor Who.
• The use of Doctor Who to chart British religious history from 1963 to the present.
• Death and the afterlife in Doctor Who and Torchwood.
• The Doctor as a Christ figure.
• Portrayals of non-Christian religion in the classic series or BBC revival.
• Fan response to “religious” episodes.
• The use of Doctor Who by religious organisations.
• Religion in audio adventures, comic books and video games.
• Canonicity and Doctor Who as a surrogate religion.
• Doctor Who as a tool for theological reflection.
• Using Doctor Who to teach Religious Studies.
Abstracts should be 300 words in length, and include a short biography of the author. Abstracts should be sent to DrWhoReligion@gmail.com. Deadline for receipt of abstracts: 20th April 2012.
The full Call For Papers can be found at Patheos.com.