#CFP Special Issue of Religions “So Say We All: Religion and Society in Science Fiction”

#CFP Special Issue of Religions “So Say We All: Religion and Society in Science Fiction” May 4, 2018

For Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You!) I thought that I should highlight the future special issue of Religions on science fiction, which is accepting submissions. I’m hoping to submit something myself, if I can make the deadline. Here’s the call for papers from the journal’s website:

Dear Colleagues,

Science fiction wanders perennially in realms traditionally considered the purview of religion, asking questions about the ordering of the universe, the nature of existence, and the proper basis for human (and non-human) relations. When the speculative force of science fiction is directed toward imagining societies shaped by distinct sets of values, often those systems of value are or could be understood to be religious. This Special Issue will explore the ways science fiction constructs social systems of meaning that are either explicitly or implicitly religious, both in recasting received religious forms, and in imagining new forms of its own. What wider social assumptions are being rehearsed when the crew on Battlestar Galactica joins in the ritualized affirmation “So say we all”? Or when any imagined community functions according to shared (or at least enforced) general principles that take on the power of religious norms? What religiously motivated processes of refinement, recalibration, or rejection might be at work in resistance to those social foundations? Our focus will be on the issues—aesthetic, ethical, spiritual, practical—raised by science fiction as it invents social frameworks for answering the religious question “How shall we live?” and its concomitant, “How shall we not live?” Articles addressing science fiction in any form, including written texts, film and television, are welcome.

Prof. Dr. James H. Thrall
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


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  • John MacDonald

    I especially like the Jedi message that the goal is to use your power to help others, and not simply strive for greater and greater power as the Sith do. The Jedi are satisfied with a simple existence. It reminds me of Nietzsche’s concept of “Amor Fati,” Love of Fate. So much unnecessary suffering is born out of despising one’s circumstances. Nietzsche said:

    “My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it… but love it.”

    This is Nietzsche in his religiousness, where he says “yes and amen” to all existence:

    “The God veileth his beauty: thus hidest thou thy stars … The passing clouds I detest—those stealthy cats of prey: they take from thee and me what is common to us—the vast unbounded Yea- and Amen-saying … —An angry drummer, because they rob me of thy Yea and Amen!—thou heaven above me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of light!—because they rob thee of MY Yea and Amen … I, however, am a blesser and a Yea-sayer, if thou be but around me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of light!—into all abysses do I then carry my beneficent Yea-saying (Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, XLVIII. BEFORE SUNRISE.)”