ReligionProf Podcast with Anthony Le Donne: Gods of Thrones, Canon, and More

ReligionProf Podcast with Anthony Le Donne: Gods of Thrones, Canon, and More April 17, 2019

Anthony Le Donne returned to the ReligionProf podcast to talk about his multivolume book project, Gods of Thrones, about religion on the television show Game of Thrones as well as the underlying novels. Anthony also recorded a Homebrewed Christianity podcast episode on this topic:

Anthony Le Donne: Learning Religion in the Game of Thrones

Jana Riess also blogged about religion on Game of Thrones.

Anthony and I also talk quite a bit about canon in this episode of the podcast, and if you listen you’ll hear (among other things) a few teaser details about book chapters that I am working on, in particular one about canon in the realm of Star Wars – both within the fictional universe as well as in the franchise and associated fandom. But of course, the most important utterance of the week when it comes to the Star Wars canon is George Lucas’ statement that The Phantom Menace is his favorite film and Jar Jar Binks his favorite character. Listen to the podcast to hear Anthony’s thoughts and mine about this very topic!

Reaching back into the past a bit, let me mention that recording an episode of Seth Price’s podcast, “Can I Say This At Church?”, was one of the things that helped me make up my mind to start podcasting myself. That episode was also focused on canon. I’m hoping that soon Seth and I can have another conversation that is broadcast on my own podcast. We’ve actually been working on making that happen, but so far unsuccessfully. Hopefully we’ll manage to in the near future. In the meantime, if you missed it, or would like to listen again, the podcast episode I recorded with him previously can be found here:

Seth also interviewed Thomas Jay Oord about his book God Can’t, as I also did. I was also especially happy that, as we have talked about a future episode, Seth has suggested canon as a possible conversation topic, since I’m interested in that not just in relation to Bible, but also in sci-fi, and as a point of comparison between the two. I’ll be writing about that yet again, focusing specifically on Star Wars and canon both within its fictional universe as well as in the realm of fandom. On that topic, IO9 had a piece about a new novel about Padme Amidala, and challenged us to read it not merely for the canonical tidbits of information it might fill in. That in itself raises an important question: how can a particular concept of canon and canonicity ruin a text for the reader?

Also related to canon, check out this article on the Jedi texts that appear in The Last Jedi:

Inside the Lucasfilm Archives: The Jedi Texts

The recent Star Wars trailer for “The Rise of Skywalker” also raises issues about canon.

On fan fiction and spirituality:

How Fan Fiction Gave Millennials Power over Their Spirituality

Yesterday the news broke that Lucasfilm might have a project in view based on the game Knights of the Old Republic.

On the subject of a different canon, see Steve Wiggins’ post “Eastern Canon” as well as his earlier post, “Spoken Against.” Of related interest, Phoenix Seminary launched a new institute focused on text and canon (which was also blogged about on the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog). Also:

Where Text and Canon Meet: An Interview with John Meade and Peter Gurry

And on a more humorous note, Joel Watts shared two memes that have been circulating around the internet on the subject of the biblical canon, one equating Marie Kondo with Constantine (as depicted unhistorically by Dan Brown), the other identifying her with Martin Luther. I hope you enjoy them!

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  • John MacDonald

    I am reminded of the Ultimate Computer episode of Star Trek where, after the computer killed some people, this exchange occurred:

    Captain James T. Kirk : There were many men aboard those ships. They were murdered. Must you survive by murder?

    M-5 Computer: This unit cannot murder.

    Captain James T. Kirk : Why?

    M-5 Computer : Murder is contrary to the laws of man and God.