Archive | October 2013

Here Be Dragons: the quest for academic credibility

Provocative thoughts from Mr Tuckett!

The Critical Religion Association

At the recent BASR/EASR conference at Liverpool Hope University I spoke about dragons. My paper was on the application of Ninian Smart’s dimensions of religion to the Nine Divines. The Nine Divines is the principle “religion” to be found in the Elder Scrolls video game series and it has no meat-world presence. My argument was that the Nine Divines as a religion met all the dimensions that Smart detailed and that there were no logical grounds upon which we should not consider it a religion of as much legitimacy or reality as any meat-world counterpart (i.e. Hinduism, Islam, etc.). In short, the Nine Divines is an example of what Smart characterises as an Imperial religion: a ‘relatively loose’ organisation ‘with cities and regions for instance having their own priesthoods and cults’ (1996:237).

There was a certain amount of ludicrosity to the whole affair, something I felt acutely as I did…

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Guillermo del Toro’s Paean to Horror

Amazing!

A Lively Experiment

Io9 had a great link to Guillermo del Toro’s Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror XXIV” couch gag.

1. For those that are unfamiliar with The Simpsons couch gag, look here.

2. For those that are unfamiliar with Guillermo del Toro, head to Wikipedia.  Or you might just watch Cronos (1993), Mimic (1997), The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), or Pacific Rim (2013).

Del Toro is just about the greatest contemporary master of science fiction/fantasy horror. Sometimes folks call this “dark fantasy” but fantasy alone doesn’t account for the rich scientific worlds del Toro incorporates in his fairy tales. Regardless of what we call the genre, monsters are del Toro’s wheelhouse, and he’s doing them better than anyone right now.

[The only other contenders in SF/F Horror are David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, James Cameron, Ridley Scott, and…

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