Dr . Alexander Darius Ornella

Research in religion, sports, popular culture, technology

Judge, Jury, and Executioner

President Trump, “a” Bible, and the Church of the Presidents – this choreographed presidential photo “opportunity” hit the news and social media over the last few hours. There have been plenty of commentaries on the photo op and speculations what drove Trump’s decision to appear in front of St John’s. I can’t help it to Read more about Judge, Jury, and Executioner[…]

Between Eternal Life and Death Wishes: Imagining Transhumanism in Popular Culture. University of Zurich 19 June 2020

Recent TV series such as ALTERED CARBON (USA 2018) or AD VITAM (France 2019) do not just portray the possibilities of eternal life through technologies often imagined in transhumanist discourses (cloning, mind transfer, cell regeneration), but more importantly they discuss the tensions between wanting to live forever and wanting to die. In particular, in the Read more about Between Eternal Life and Death Wishes: Imagining Transhumanism in Popular Culture. University of Zurich 19 June 2020[…]

A Shattered Whole? Imagining Europe in Pieces

In recent socio-political discourses and the right-shift across a number of European countries, the ideas of “borders” are increasingly invoked as harbingers of a new utopia. These borders are both “real borders” (borders of the nation state) that can be physically imposed and made visible through border controls as well as imaginary (who should or Read more about A Shattered Whole? Imagining Europe in Pieces[…]

“Why nature won’t save us from climate change but technology will”: Creating a New Heaven and a New Earth Through Carbon Capture Technologies (DRAFT Feedback)

A draft version of a paper on carbon capture technologies and religion. Feel free to comment and leave feedback here. Abstract Warnings about climate change often come wrapped in apocalyptic language and scenarios, often as a rhetorical strategy to convey the sense of urgency with which action is required. Similarly, technologies that promise to deliver Read more about “Why nature won’t save us from climate change but technology will”: Creating a New Heaven and a New Earth Through Carbon Capture Technologies (DRAFT Feedback)[…]

Altered Carbon: Body and Mind?

I was discussing the body-mind dualism (or lack thereof) in the Netflix series Altered Carbon (2018). In my presentation, I argued that there is no real body-mind dualism but that it continues a return to the body of some of its science fiction predecessors. I also ponder over the question why the narrative contains religious Read more about Altered Carbon: Body and Mind?[…]

Losers, Food, and Sex: Clerical Masculinity in the BBC Sitcom REV

Just published: Clerical masculinities, much like their lay/secular counterparts, often appear unchanging because they are the products of naturalization processes. Clerical masculinities, however, are far from stable, for they live and breathe the dynamics of both their socio-religious context and their secular “others”. The BBC sitcom REV (BBC2, UK 2010–2014) is a refreshing take on the everyday Read more about Losers, Food, and Sex: Clerical Masculinity in the BBC Sitcom REV[…]

Sport as Practice of Remembrance

In his paper on graveyard commemoration of sport celebrities, Huggins argues that “memorials say something about the perceived personal identity of the commemorated sporting hero.”[1] As such, the gravestone and the memorial might say more about the patron(s) than the athlete. They emerge from and are expression of discourses about gender, power, class, religion, and fame. Read more about Sport as Practice of Remembrance[…]

“Jesus saves, bro”. 24-28 August 2016 @ York St. John University

On her website, the prominent Christian CrossFit athlete Andrea Ager reflects on wearing a “Jesus saves, bro” t-shirt at a recent competition. She declares: “That day I got to reperesent [sic] for the only brand worth representing“. The ambiguity in the language leaves open if “brand” refers to the apparel or to Jesus or salvation Read more about “Jesus saves, bro”. 24-28 August 2016 @ York St. John University[…]

New Book: Making Humans: Religious, Technological and Aesthetic Perspectives

My new edited volume, Making Humans: Religious, Technological and Aesthetic Perspectives, just came out. This volume explores body-making as human-making practice because the bodies we have or mould ourselves into are always a socio-cultural and religious expression of the kind of human beings we are or want to be. Visit the Publisher website or read the Read more about New Book: Making Humans: Religious, Technological and Aesthetic Perspectives[…]