Religious Narratives in Contemporary Culture

Between Cultural Memory and Transmediality

Series: 

Religious Narratives in Contemporary Culture: Between Cultural Memory and Transmediality analyses the meaning and role of religion in western cultural practices in the twenty-first century. This inquiry situates itself at the intersection between cultural memory studies and the transmedial study of narrative and art. Contributors focus on genres which have yet to receive significant critical attention within the field, including speculative fiction films and television series, autobiographical prose and poetry, and action-adventure video games. In this time of crisis, where traces of religious thinking still persist in the presence or absence of religious faith, this volume’s collective look into some of their cultural embodiments is necessary and timely. The volume is addressed primarily to scholars and students interested in intersections between religious and cultural studies, revisions of traditional religious narratives, literature as a space of reflection on today's world, contemporary media studies and remediation.

Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru's editing work in the last stages of this volume was supported by a grant of the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P3-3.6-H2020-0035.

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Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru, Ph.D. (2000), is Associate Professor of English at the University of Bucharest. She has published articles and monographs on postmodernism and postcolonialism, including Performance and Performativity in Contemporary Indian Fiction in English (Brill | Rodopi, 2015).
Dragoș Manea, Ph.D. (2018), is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Bucharest. His work lies at the intersection of adaptation and cultural memory studies, and includes Literature and Cultural Memory (co-edited with Mihaela Irimia and Andreea Paris, Brill, 2017).

Contributors are: Maria-Alina Asavei, Sonia Caputa, Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru, Marcel Inhoff, Anthony Miccoli, Dragoș Manea, Andrei Nae, Mihaela Precup, Olga V. Solovieva.
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

Introduction
   Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru and Dragoș Manea

PART 1
Negotiations between the Spiritual and the Secular

1 Going Boldly Where Few Have Gone Before
Science, Religion and Life-Writing in the Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop and Tracy K. Smith
   Marcel Inhoff

2 Roman Catholic Religion and Folk Religiosity in the Fiction of Contemporary American Writers of Polish Descent
An Analysis of Selected Works by Stuart Dybek
   Sonia Caputa

3 “A Secular Mind Searching for Its Lost Love”
Mourning, Religion, and the Return of the Dead in Meghan O’Rourke’s The Long Goodbye
   Mihaela Precup

PART 2
Oppression and Resistance

4 Cultural Memory and Political Resistance through Religious/Spiritual Art in (Post-) Communist Romania
   Maria-Alina Asavei

5 The Rhetoric of the Body of Christ and the Pitfalls of American Democracy
   Olga V. Solovieva

6 Evil Nuns and Useless Priests
On the Representation of Christianity in Contemporary Historical Fantasy Television Series
   Dragoș Manea

PART 3
Transmedial Religious Narratives in Unreal and Posthuman Worlds

7 Algorithms of Desire
 Dukkha in the Machine
   Anthony Miccoli

8 How to Fight Historical Violence
Posthuman Spirituality in Cloud Atlas
   Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru

9 Can Artificial Humans Go to Heaven? Transhumanist Salvation in Shelley’s Frankenstein and the Hitman Series
   Andrei Nae

 Conclusion
   Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru and Dragoș Manea

Bibliography
Index

Scholars and students interested in intersections between religious and cultural memory studies, revisions of traditional religious narratives, literature as a space of reflection on today's world, media studies and remediation.