Special Issue "So Say We All: Religion and Society in Science Fiction"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 August 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. James H. Thrall

Knight Distinguished Associate Professor for the Study of Religion & Culture, Knox College, 2 East South Street, Galesburg, 61401-4999 IL, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: religion and science fiction; religion and film; religion and media; religion and popular culture; theories of religion; world religions

Special Issue Information

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.


  • Science fiction
  • Speculative fiction
  • Imagined societies
  • Religious values
  • Social values
  • Ethics

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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