On November 7, Douglas Cowan, a professor of Religious Studies at Renison University College, launched his latest book America's Dark Theologian: The Relgious Imagination of Stephen King here at the College.
King, a prolific author that has sold over 300 million copies of his 70 books, is best known for his horror fiction, including IT, The Shining, Pet Cemetery, and Carrie.
Cowan's latest offering in the realm of religion and popular culture, America's Dark Theologian looks at the religious themes and the theological, or perhaps human questions that arise within the works of Stephen King. But as Cowan explains, King is more interested in questions rather than answers, and more importantly, questioning answers through stories.
"King is constantly poking at 'Every time you think you have an answer, how about looking at it this way and see what we get?'" explained Cowan.
"(Some have claimed that) the only reason you see religion in [horror] is because people have a lack of respect for religion - it's about secularisation. I don't think either one of those things is true," said Cowan. "Horror reinforces this really ambivalent relationship we have with whatever we consider the supernatural order."
"What if it doesn't work the way we think it does? What if it doesn't work the way religion has told me it does?"
Cowan's book has been receiving significant media attention and has been discussed on many different news channels and podcasts.
Listen to Cowan's latest podcast interview in which he discusses in detail the relationship between Stephen King, horror and theology.