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Cosplay in the pulpit and ponies at prayer: Christian faith and lived religion in wider fan culture

Crome, Andrew (2019) Cosplay in the pulpit and ponies at prayer: Christian faith and lived religion in wider fan culture. Culture and Religion. ISSN 0143-8301

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Abstract

This article examines the way in which Christian fans of popular media franchises have incorporated their fan identity into a lived religious experience, producing religious fan works such as fan fiction, art, and fan-themed church services. Based around a series of interviews with fans in the United States and the UK, both lay and clergy, it suggests the powerful affective connections forged through fandom, and examines the way in which fandom operates as a shared language to engage the wider fan community with theological ideas. Fans viewed their fandom as an arena through which God communicated and developed personal faith, working through fan texts and fan works to encourage and develop their connection to the divine. This article, therefore, challenges academic positions that see fandom as a secular replacement for religion, or as a form of blasphemous excess.

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