Time, Space and Faith: Religion and Doctor Who

2 November 2013
John Rylands Library, Manchester

Doctor Who is a cultural phenomenon in both the UK and the United States, continuing to go from strength-to-strength as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in November 2013. Over the show’s long history on television—and in various spin-off TV shows, audio adventures, novels and comic books—religion and religious themes have consistently been a subject of interest. From early depictions of Buddhism and pagan religion to recent years when the show has attracted everything from Church of England conferences dedicated to its use in preaching to guest appearances by Richard Dawkins, religion has always had some role within the universes of Doctor Who. Proposals for 20 minute papers are therefore invited for a day conference on this theme to be held at the historic John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester on 2 November 2013. Possible subjects include, but are not limited to:
• Religious or mythic themes (salvation, return, ritual etc.) in the series.
• Critiques and deconstructions of religion in Doctor Who.
• The use of Doctor Who to chart British religious history from 1963 to the present.
• Death and the afterlife in Doctor Who and Torchwood.
• The Doctor as a Christ figure.
• Portrayals of non-Christian religion in the classic series or BBC revival.
• Fan response to “religious” episodes.
• The use of Doctor Who by religious organisations.
• Religion in audio adventures, comic books and novels.
• Canonicity and Doctor Who as a surrogate religion.
• Doctor Who as a tool for theological reflection.
• Using Doctor Who to teach Religious Studies.
Abstracts should be 250 words in length, and include a short biography of the author.