This book formulates a new theological approach to the study of religion in gaming. Video games have become one of the most important cultural artifacts of modern society, both as mediators of cultural, social, and religious values and in terms of commercial success. This has led to a significant increase in the critical analysis of this relatively new medium, but theology as an academic discipline is noticeably behind the other humanities on this subject.
The book first covers the fundamentals of cultural theology and video games. It then moves on to set out a Christian systematic theology of gaming, focusing on creational theology, Christology, anthropology, evil, moral theology, and thanatology. Each chapter introduces case studies from video games connected to the specific theme. In contrast to many studies which focus on online multiplayer games, the examples considered are largely single player games with distinct narratives and ‘end of game’ moments. The book concludes by synthesizing these themes into a new theology of video games.
This study addresses a significant aspect of contemporary society that has yet to be discussed in any depth by theologians. It is, therefore, a fantastic resource for any scholar engaging with the religious aspects of digital and popular culture.
Table of Contents
1 Fundamentals I: A theology of culture
2 Fundamentals II: A study of games
3 Theomorphism: Creational theology
4 Christophorism: Christology
5 Homo roboticus: Theological anthropology
6 Kyrie eleison: Theodicy and the problem of evil
7 The wicked problem of being alive: Ethics
8 Game over: Thanatology
9 God’s delusion: Religion critique in video games
Conclusions: A systematic theology of video games
Frank G. Bosman is a senior researcher at Tilburg Cobbenhagen Center, Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He is currently involved in multiple research projects concerning cultural theology and video games. He published various articles on theology and gaming in journals, such as Games and Culture, Gamenvironments, and Online, Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet, and in academic series, such as Jewish Christian Perspectives, and Studies in Theology and Religion.
"Despite the complexities of the subject matter, Bosman maintains a level of accessibility that should open this timely resource to the non-gaming scholar of theology and religious studies. As a rare voice in the immense void, Bosman’s Gaming and the Divine is likely to remain a significant touchstone for scholars engaging with the intersection of religious and—popular—culture/digital studies for some time." - Jonathan D. Stubbs, Reading Religion