Doctor Who has always contained a rich current of religious themes and ideas. In its very first episode it asked how humans rationalise the seemingly supernatural, as two snooping school teachers refused to accept that the TARDIS was real. More recently it has toyed with the mystery of Doctor's real name, perhaps an echo of ancient religions and rituals in which knowledge of the secret name of a god, angel or demon was thought to grant a mortal power over the entity.
But why does Doctor Who intersect with religion so often, and what do such instances tell us about the society that produces the show and the viewers who engage with it?
The writers of Religion and Doctor Who: Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith attempt to answer these questions through an in-depth analysis of the various treatments of religion throughout every era of the show's history. While the majority of chapters focus on television show Doctor Who, the authors also look at audios, novels and the response of fandom. Their analyses--all written in an accessible but academically-thorough style--reveal that examining religion in a long-running series such as Doctor Who can contribute to a number of key debates within faith communities and religious history.
Most importantly, it provides another way of looking at why Doctor Who continues to inspire, to engage and to excite generations of passionate fans, whatever their position on faith.
The contributors are drawn from the UK, the USA and Australia, and their approaches are similarly diverse. Chapters have been written by film scholars and sociologists; theologians and historians; rhetoricians, philosophers and anthropologists. Some write from the perspective of a particular faith or belief; some write from the perspective of no religious belief. All, however, demonstrate a solid knowledge of and affection for the brilliance of Doctor Who.
|Publisher:||Wipf & Stock Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Andrew Crome is Lecturer in the History of Modern Christianity at the University of Manchester, where he teaches and writes on English religious history and apocalyptic thought.
James McGrath is the Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language & Literature at Butler University.
Table of Contents
Introduction Andrew Crome xi
1 Why Time Lords Do Not Live Forever Courtland Lewis 1
2 Pushing the Protest Button: Doctor Who's Anti-Authoritarian Ethic Gabriel McKee 16
3 Divine and Human Nature: Incarnation and Kenosis in Doctor Who K. Jason Wardley 32
4 Breaking the Faiths in 'The Curse of Fenric' and 'The God Complex' Tim Jones 45
5 The Doctor Working on God's Time: Kairos and Intervention in 'The Waters of Mars' and 'A Christmas Carol' Michael Charlton 60
6 'You're this Doctor's companion. What exactly do you do for him? Why does he need you?': Doctor Who, Liminality and Martha the Apostle Brigid Cherry 79
7 'Humany-Wumany': Humanity vs. Human in Doctor Who Laura Brekke 94
8 The Monstrous and the Divine in Doctor Who: The Role of Christian Imagery in Russell T. Davies's Doctor Who Revival Jennifer L. Miller 106
9 'With proof, you don't have to believe': Doctor Who and the Celestials John Vohlidka 118
10 'Her brain was full of superstitious nonsense': Modernism and the Failure of the Divine in Doctor Who Kieran Tranter 131
11 Religion in Doctor Who: Cult Ethics Karma Waltonen 145
12 Mediating Between the Scientific and the Spiritual in Doctor Who David Johnson 161
13 Karma, Conditionality and Clinging to the Self: The Tennant Years as Seen Through a Tibetan Buddhist Lens Kristine Larsen 174
14 'There never was a Golden Age': Doctor Who and the Apocalypse Andrew Crome 189
15 'Qui Quae Quod': Doctor Who and the History of Magic Alexander Cummins 205
16 The Church Militant? The Church of England, Humanity and the Future in Doctor Who Marcus Harmes 221
17 Bigger on the Inside? Doctoring the Concept of 'Religion or Belief under English Law Russell Sandberg 235
18 'Something woolly and fuzzy': The Representation of Religion in the Big Finish Doctor Who Audio Adventures Noel Brown 248
19 Doctoring the Doctor: Midrashic Adventures in Text and Space Joel Dark 267
Epilogue James McGrath 281
Appendix: Doctor Who episodes, writers and directors 327
Notes on Contributors 340