Friday, April 03, 2009

yes to bible and popular culture new book

Semeia Studies is one of the leading, cutting edge experimental publishers in the area of Biblical studies. The editorial board has just said yes to a new book proposal: titled The Bible in/and Popular Culture: A Creative Encounter. Edited by Dr. Philip Culbertson and Dr. Elaine Wainwright the book will explore a wide range of popular media: popular music, graphic novels, fiction, television and video games. Particular attention will be given to the way these media engage biblical texts and characters and to hermeneutical and methodological/theoretical issues.

I post this because the book will include a chapter by me, titled: Reading “pop-wise”: the very fine art of “making do” when reading the Bible in bro’Town. So over the last few months, I’ve been quietly stealing time to move between the book of Revelation, Sionerella bro’Town episode and Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.

What I found intriguing was that so many of the issues discussed in Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art play out in discussions around emerging church and alt.worship. Like the relationship between word and image and the privileging of high culture. Best of all, the entire book is done as a comic. Yep. A book on theory of comics that’s a comic!! Now when is someone going to do that with theology?

Posted by steve at 05:54 PM


  1. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the reference to a fascinating book/series by Scott McCloud. Added to my wishlist now.

    Comment by David Morgan — April 3, 2009 @ 8:56 pm

  2. Didn’t know if you’ve seen Steve, but you made the top 100 blogs in New Zealand on HalfDone’s list and the top 10 Christian blogs on MandM’s HalfDone report.

    Christian Blog Ranking Report for March 09 – HalfDone

    Congratulations and well done πŸ™‚

    Comment by Madeleine — April 3, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

  3. Sounds fascinating mate. Look forward to reading the book in due course. Out of interest – your comment about “comics on theology”, I’ve been reading Vol. 1 and 2 of the comic series “Action Philosophers” (came across them in “Mark 1 Comics” a couple of months ago). Both series include “theologian / philosophers” e.g. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. They also include the likes of Freud, Carl Jung, Derrida, Karl Marx, Jospeh Campbell (mythology) and Kierkegaard. The really quite well done – distilling in comic form one or two of the central themes articulated by each person e.g. in the case of Derrida, the central theme is his understanding of “difference”.
    I was imagining what a comic book on Stanley Hauerwas might look like, or one dedicated to Lesslie Newbigin πŸ™‚

    Comment by Paul Fromont — April 4, 2009 @ 8:40 am

  4. thanks Paul. Can I clarify if you are talking about comics about theologians? Or comics that explore theological themes eg grace, forgiveness, justice, being human?

    I used Marked in my Living the text course. It’s a Biblical theology.


    Comment by steve — April 4, 2009 @ 9:00 am

  5. madeline,
    quite strange. i’ve been blogging for 5 years and “suddenly” appear on a blog ranking list. seems like someone’s criteria have been missing/excluding me. or have a i suddenly become a Christian? πŸ™‚

    peace in the pecking ranking orders

    Comment by steve — April 4, 2009 @ 9:03 am

  6. LOL!

    Scrubbone, the guy who does the rankings you appeared has only been doing the NZ rankings for a few months. He started with Tim Selwyn of Tumeke’s list of NZ blogs but then began looking for more blogs to add in as he realised there were a few Christian blogs (and some others) that Tim was ignoring in his rankings that he probably shouldn’t have been. From what I understand, as he discovers new blogs he includes them. He must have found yours recently as like you say you weren’t on it then suddenly you were.

    When a Christian blog pops up on an official ranking list it then automatically gets considered for the Christian blog rankings. The purpose of my list is more about highlighting the existence of quality NZ christian blogs, it began as an exercise of “I wonder how many Christians are on this list” and then grew from there – rankings are measured on traffic and linkage from other blogs which at best can probably only be considered a partial indication of quality anyway!

    Comment by Madeleine — April 4, 2009 @ 9:29 am

  7. Hi steve.

    Well done on the blog ranking. I have been trying to break into the top 100 and have failed once again.

    Comment by Ozy Mandias — April 4, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

  8. oh please. this blog ranking stuff is ridiculous. if u blog for rankings, stop now. blog because it gives you joy as you write,


    Comment by steve — April 4, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

  9. I think most people blog for joy. It takes too much effort and time to do it for any other reason – unless you are being paid but who gets paid to blog LOL! Every blog began with zero links and zero readers yet still we blogged.

    Glad you are not too hung up on the rankings because I just stopped by to say that Scrubone who runs the stats made an error due to Alexa and your site was ranked with a higher readership that it in fact has. This means that while you are in the top 100 you are outside the top 10 NZ Christian blogs. That is still a great effort.

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with having a wee smile knowing that what you blog about makes people want to click and read – its not why you do it but it is much like having a comment from someone who appreciated what you had to say, it gives you a little bit of encouragement to write some more; if you take it more seriously then that then I agree you might have a problem.

    Comment by Madeleine — April 4, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

  10. Steve – A bit of both… if you have a look via the link I included in the comic you can actually scroll through the comics for free… that’ll give you the flavour…

    I love this line on the back cover, one reviewer writes: “It’s probably say tp say that their Action Philosophers series is the single best philosophy comic book on the shelves today…”

    Comment by Paul Fromont — April 5, 2009 @ 9:10 am

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