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Special Issue "Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Ms. Marisa Labozzetta

187 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01060, USA
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue is dedicated to the treatment of loss, love, and the supernatural. RELIGIONS welcomes short contributions (+/- 1,000 - 3,500 words) that comment on (and extend into contributors’ interests and other work) the linked short stories in my collection, Thieves Never Steal in the Rain (Amazon.com). The publisher also invites contributors to submit longer essays on the prose, poetry, and plays of other authors (including contributors’ own work) and dramatists. The field, however, is not limited to literature nor confined to the West or any particular century. Colleagues in the fields of film studies, psychology, sociology, history, ethnic and women’s studies, religion, philosophy, and humor are encouraged to submit papers on a an individual’s or a society’s treatment of loss.

Marisa Labozzetta
Guest Editor

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a 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. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • loss (concrete, abstract, physical, or emotional)
  • love
  • supernatural
  • death
  • relationships
  • belief system
  • ghosts
  • miracles
  • magical
  • dementia
  • aging
  • disaster
  • coping mechanisms
  • support systems

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Faith in the Ghosts of Literature. Poetic Hauntology in Derrida, Blanchot and Morrison’s Beloved
Religions 2013, 4(3), 336-350; doi:10.3390/rel4030336
Received: 15 May 2013 / Revised: 21 June 2013 / Accepted: 28 June 2013 / Published: 4 July 2013
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Abstract
Literature, this paper argues, is a privileged language that can give form to those specters of existence that resist the traditional ontological boundaries of being and non-being, alive and dead. This I describe as the “hauntology” of literature. Literature, unlike our everyday, referential
[...] Read more.
Literature, this paper argues, is a privileged language that can give form to those specters of existence that resist the traditional ontological boundaries of being and non-being, alive and dead. This I describe as the “hauntology” of literature. Literature, unlike our everyday, referential language, is not obliged to refer to a determinable reality, or to sustain meaning. It can therefore be viewed as a negation of the world of things and sensible phenomena. Yet it gives us access to vivid and sensory rich worlds. The status of this literary world, then, is strangely in-between; its ontology is not present and fixed, but rather quivering or ghostlike. The “I” that speaks in a literary text never coincides with the “I” of the writing subject, rather they haunt each other. This theoretical understanding is based on texts by Jacques Derrida and Maurice Blanchot. The paper also draws an analogy between this spectral dynamic of literature and an understanding of religious faith or belief. Belief relates to that which cannot be ontologically fixed or verified, be it God, angels, or spirits. Literature, because it releases and sustains this ontological quivering, can transmit the ineffable, the repressed and transcendent. With this starting point, I turn to Toni Morrison’s book Beloved (1987) and to Beloved’s strange, spectral monologue. By giving literary voice to the dead, Morrison releases literature’s hauntology to express the horror that history books cannot convey, and that our memory struggles to contain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)

Other

Jump to: Research

Open AccessEssay Secularization and the Loss of Love in Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress
Religions 2013, 4(4), 669-686; doi:10.3390/rel4040669
Received: 10 September 2013 / Revised: 13 December 2013 / Accepted: 13 December 2013 / Published: 13 December 2013
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Abstract
In this paper, I place Bunyan’s popular Pilgrim’s Progress into a cultural context infused with, and informed by, a change from a sacred to secular preunderstanding. I discuss the ways that Bunyan wrestles with these changes in light of Taylor’s work on secularization,
[...] Read more.
In this paper, I place Bunyan’s popular Pilgrim’s Progress into a cultural context infused with, and informed by, a change from a sacred to secular preunderstanding. I discuss the ways that Bunyan wrestles with these changes in light of Taylor’s work on secularization, and theorize that Bunyan’s text reveals how the sacred and secular imaginaries were able to merge through a shared embrace of an economic system of rationalization. Additionally, and more tragically, both ideologies share a disdain for love in its vulnerable, intimate, and material forms that has led us to desire security instead of attending to a more humble (but powerful and enriching) need for assurance. I conclude by discussing Adorno’s discussion of love and Auschwitz as a warning still necessary in our 21st century secular age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)
Open AccessCreative On Visiting Our Dead
Religions 2013, 4(3), 358-366; doi:10.3390/rel4030358
Received: 31 May 2013 / Revised: 29 July 2013 / Accepted: 30 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
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Abstract
A redefining of the meaning of death and grief: this essay explores a rejection of conventional ideas about mourning and describes the experiences of two daughters after they have lost their beloved father. In the one case, it is an evocation of his
[...] Read more.
A redefining of the meaning of death and grief: this essay explores a rejection of conventional ideas about mourning and describes the experiences of two daughters after they have lost their beloved father. In the one case, it is an evocation of his spirit that feels like a conversation and, in the other, visits by the father to the daughter through palpable signs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)
Figures

Open AccessCreative End of the Line—A Play in One Act
Religions 2013, 4(3), 351-357; doi:10.3390/rel4030351
Received: 17 June 2013 / Revised: 16 July 2013 / Accepted: 17 July 2013 / Published: 23 July 2013
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Abstract
In this short play, the playwright drew on her experience as a voiceover talent for bus transportation and Global Positioning Systems. The drama humanizes a voice we love to hate, and subsequently adds layers of back-story and meaning to a deceptively slight one-act,
[...] Read more.
In this short play, the playwright drew on her experience as a voiceover talent for bus transportation and Global Positioning Systems. The drama humanizes a voice we love to hate, and subsequently adds layers of back-story and meaning to a deceptively slight one-act, which begins in one reality, and ends in another. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)
Open AccessCreative Lady Saints
Religions 2013, 4(2), 288-289; doi:10.3390/rel4020288
Received: 4 February 2013 / Revised: 25 April 2013 / Accepted: 8 May 2013 / Published: 8 May 2013
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Abstract A meditation on the death of the author’s Sicilian grandmother that explores how a child copes with loss by transforming the grandmother’s vast collection of plastic and porcelain female saints into imaginary friends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)
Open AccessComment Like a Caterpillar Losing its Cocoon: Rediscovery of Self in Marisa Labozzetta’s Thieves Never Steal in the Rain
Religions 2013, 4(2), 283-287; doi:10.3390/rel4020283
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 10 April 2013 / Accepted: 19 April 2013 / Published: 26 April 2013
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Abstract
We ward off loss as best we can, but rarely are we so lucky. We attach significance to our rituals and collected items. This theme of warding off loss and searching for ways to cope with it is woven through the linked stories
[...] Read more.
We ward off loss as best we can, but rarely are we so lucky. We attach significance to our rituals and collected items. This theme of warding off loss and searching for ways to cope with it is woven through the linked stories of Marisa Labozzetta’s Thieves Never Steal in the Rain, especially in the stories about Joanna and Barbara. Barbara’s ritualistic collecting links her directly to the past. Through these objects, the past and present become fluid for Barbara, and she believes that they can even affect her future. Because of this, she gathers objects in an attempt to preserve her luckiness as she has been since she was a child. This idea of actively working against or shielding oneself and loved ones from loss is also apparent in Labozetta’s stories that feature Joanna. Joanna’s daughter, Jill, died in a terrible accident, and Joanna blames herself because she thinks she should have been able to prevent Jill’s death. Joanna also emphasizes the importance of things in a way that is similar to Barbara’s. When she thinks she has lost her artistic eye, Joanna reclaims the things from her childhood desk. Unfortunately, and despite their best efforts, neither Joanna nor Barbara is able to stave off loss forever: Barbara’s house burns down and Jill cannot be resurrected. However, Barbara feels liberated after her house burns, and Joanna rediscovers her artistic eye. Perhaps what we need to remember, and what the stories in Marisa Labozzetta’s Thieves Never Steal in the Rain remind us, is that we can’t prevent loss and somehow we have to cope with it. In coping with the loss, we can rediscover our best selves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)
Open AccessEssay Crashing, Chaos, Culture and Connection
Religions 2013, 4(2), 186-189; doi:10.3390/rel4020186
Received: 21 January 2013 / Revised: 20 March 2013 / Accepted: 21 March 2013 / Published: 25 March 2013
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Abstract
This essay considers the experience of a seasoned disaster responder who encountered a personal disaster while traveling in Thailand. The resulting injury and helplessness led to new insights about mortality, vulnerability, culture and the significance of social trust—echoing lessons gained from professional experiences,
[...] Read more.
This essay considers the experience of a seasoned disaster responder who encountered a personal disaster while traveling in Thailand. The resulting injury and helplessness led to new insights about mortality, vulnerability, culture and the significance of social trust—echoing lessons gained from professional experiences, but giving them new meaning and resonance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)

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