January theme: Animation and Theology

New deadline: January 13, 2023

For our January theme, we are pleased to invite contributions looking at the relationship between animation and theology from any perspective. Animated works have in similar ways to many other art forms engaged with the big questions about life and experiences. Such as where do we come from, and where are we going? Is there any given meaning to life or do we construct that ourselves, what really happens when we are no longer here? And will we ever reconcile the physical and mental parts of ourselves and others?

American astronomer Carl Sagan is quoted to have said in Dean Drayton (2019: 4)’s Apocalyptic Good News: Christ in the Cosmos that “life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy”. Even though his appeal to not rush into ‘spiritual fantasy’ to explain the wonders of the universe display some healthy reservation, the experience of wonder and anxiety about the state of the world itself and our place within it lies at the foundation for both accident and contemporary worldviews. We are, therefore, in particular looking for posts that are preoccupied with questions sounding human understanding of world order, experience of deeper significance and wider concerns about the future of humanity as these questions have been addressed through animation.

We welcome posts that explore any aspects of animation production, aesthetics, narration, theorizing, and culture in relation to, but are not limited to, any of the below topics:

  • Animation, theology, and philosophy of religion;
  • Mythology and creation/origin stories in animation;
  • Metaphysis and the transcendental of animation;
  • Animation, the spiritual and new age;
  • Atheism and criticism of religious practice in animated works;
  • The secular, scientific and technological search for meaning, hope and the eternal as addressed in animated films and TV shows.

Posts of between 600 and 900 words, which discuss any aspect of the above topic are welcome. Contributors are encouraged to include clips and at least one image (less than 2MB in size) to support their posts. Please also include a short bio (100 words max) and 3 keywords. All permissions are the responsibility of the contributor. Please contact editor Carmen Hannibal (carmen.hannibal@network.rca.ac.uk) and managing editor Cristina Formenti (cristina.formenti@uniud.it) with submissions or questions.