The editors of JRFM invite contributions for the May 2024 issue that address the multifaceted and controversial roles of religion in The Handmaid’s Tale in and beyond the novel of 1985. Consideration of the various ramifications of this narrative in different media and decades and of its impact on politics and social debates are welcome, as is in-depth analysis of The Handmaid’s Tale that focusses on the role and significance of religion, references to the history of religions, and ethical and philosophical aspects as well as its social criticism. Different approaches can be taken and a variety of questions asked, such as:
• How is religion represented and which aspects of religion are addressed in Margaret Atwood’s novels from 1985 and 2019? What is the religious background of Gilead? Whose interests does it serve?
• Can we identify a change in how religion is represented in the novel’s adaptations for different media, including audio-visual versions, the graphic novel, and performed iterations? Why?
• What is the hermeneutical dimension of the Bible in The Handmaid’s Tale?
• Which contemporary dimensions of religion and society are challenged by the narrative universe of The Handmaid’s Tale?
• What could be the role of dystopian narrative in staging religion today?
We hope for an innovative scholarly discussion across a broad spectrum of case studies that includes the different adaptations and further works inspired by Margaret Atwood’s novel. Scholars of literature, cinema and media studies, theology, and the study of religion, as well as of sociology or political sciences and other disciplines are invited to contribute to this issue.