The BEATLES and Religion: Call for Papers and Publications

Michael McGowan's picture
Call for Publications
October 23, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Music and Music History, Philosophy, Popular Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

In August 2021, after a long delay due to Covid-19, Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings and Hobbit series co-writer and director) will release his much-anticipated documentary, The Beatles: Get Back. We would like to take this opportunity to explore the ways in which The Beatles phenomenon can be approached through the lens of religious studies. We are seeking essays from both established and emerging/new scholars for a book tentatively titled, Speaking Words of Wisdom: The Beatles and Religion. Chapter topics will range considerably, and may include biographical explorations of the Fab Four, religious themes in their songs/lyrics, religious politics and/or ethics in their public- and media-facing endeavors, metaphysics of selfhood in light of psychedelics, tradition and change, 1960s liberation theology and politics, the Church of England and Liverpool's incubation of the group, Hinduism and travels to India, Fandom and pilgrimage to Liverpool, Beatlemania's cult-like or quasi-religious fervor, religious music and instrumentation, methods and patterns of meaning-making, or any other topic that may illuminate the significance of religious studies for interpreting The Beatles. 

Chapters will be approximately 5,000-7,000 words. Potential contributors should send (1) their most recent CV, and (2) a proposal that includes the chapter's title/subtitle and a 150-300 word summary of the proposed chapter. Attach both documents and send as an email to by Friday, October 23, 2020. Questions or comments should be directed to or Michael McGowan at Accepted proposals will be notified via email by November 6, 2020. 

Contact Info: 

Editor: Michael McGowan, Ph.D. 
Professor of Philosophy and Religion 
Florida Southwestern State College 

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