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Illuminating the Obscure
  • Writer's pictureRejected Religion

Spotlight with Dr. Tara Smith: Warhammer 40k and Spirituality Dr. Tara Smith is an interdisciplinary academic that works in the fields of science fiction, literature, and popular culture. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School, writing on religious ideas and experiences of people who paint and play within the science fiction 'grim dark' universe of Warhammer 40,000. She is currently visiting Amsterdam's HHP Centre at the University of Amsterdam in her Fellowship role. In this interview, Tara discusses how there is a lacuna in the area of Religious Studies when it comes to researching the relationship between religion and tabletop games. Her work demonstrates that Warhammer 40k encourages players to talk and think about religion. We discuss the game and its influences, as well as the role of 'play' in Tara's research, which suggests that there is more imagination and interactional thought about religion than was previously presumed. As this is a work in progress, Tara also discusses her different approaches and her interests in broadening her research scope.

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