Gaming and the Divine. A New Systematic Theology of Video Games, London: Routledge (2019), 978-1-138-57956-9, BP 115. Buy / Google preview.
“Frank Bosman’s Gaming and the Divine fills this gap with a laser-like focus, exploring video games specifically as a subject of interest for systematic theology. This seemingly narrow focus, however, has enabled Bosman to explore video games’ capacity to delve into a plethora of issues pertaining to the divine, that in turn require a theological vocabulary to decipher. These Bosman unveils clearly and concisely, enabling this quintessential artifact of postmodern culture to become a touchstone for the continuation of some foundational cultural projects, one artistic, the other religious.”
Matthew John Paul Tan for Humanum.
“…the standout example of a theological embrace of video games is Frank G. Bosman’s Gaming an the Divine, (…) [i]t is an excellent representation of how classic systematic Catholic theology can be brought in touch with the modern world.”
Benjamin Chicka, Playing as others. Theology and ethical responsibility in video games, Waco: Baylor University Press (2021), 18.
“Bosman [is] offering what can comfortably be described as the first systematic theology of video games, (…) an engaging primer for the uninitiated and novice alike. (…) Bosman maintains a broadly accessible style that is one of the hallmarks of Gaming and the Divine, (…) a significant touchstone for scholars engaging with the intersection of religious and—popular—culture/digital studies.”
Jonathan D. Stubbs for the American Academy of Religion.
“Bosman’s book [is] worth reading and what is more, a book worth buying. I have learned much from it and will definitely include it in the recommended reading for my course on media and religion.”
Christian Wessely for the Journal of Film, Religion, and Media.
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