The Gothic Bible Project

The Gothic Bible Project

About the project

The Gothic Bible Project constitutes an interdisciplinary approach to investigating instances within the Bible and Gothic fiction (i.e. literature, drama, and film) that demonstrate an interplay between biblical concepts/iconography and the literary Gothic mode, which began with the publication of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764-5). From its inception, this literary genre has continued to showcase associations with the Bible, theology, and/or religion; this project seeks to highlight and explore these ongoing relationships. Hosted at the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom), The Gothic Bible Project combines the university’s Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) and The Centre for the History of the Gothic.

Our research aims

The Gothic Bible Project seeks to enrich the study of the Bible and Gothic fiction by examining (1) Gothic fiction (i.e. literature, drama, and film) that exhibit biblical/religious iconography or (2) biblical texts that reveal instances mirroring those associated with the literary Gothic mode.

Additionally, this project desires to incorporate the academic disciplines of theology and philosophy to bolster its investigative approach. The Gothic Bible Project combines these academic fields into a conversation with one another to study the reception and ongoing relevance of biblical concepts/iconography in not only past Gothic fiction but modern Gothic narratives as well. The Gothic Bible Project ultimately aims to extend the reach of Gothic studies into other academic disciplines to promote its interdisciplinary characteristics.

Buffy and the Bible Conference

We are delighted to announce that we, along with researchers from York and Kingston University London, have won a collaborative funding bid from WRoCAH and AHRC to host an exciting interdisciplinary conference: Buffy and the Bible.

This two day conference will bring together, for the first time, scholars from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives to investigate the contribution which religion and the Bible makes to the construction of the Buffyverse and its reception.

One of the most widely analysed texts in contemporary popular culture, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) has given rise to new understandings of the relationship between religion and popular culture. As well as investigating these connections, this conference will use Buffy as a case study to interrogate interdisciplinary methodologies and frameworks for studying the relationship between religion and popular culture.

The conference will be held from 4-5 July 2019, with Professor Matthew Pateman as the keynote speaker. It is being co-organised by the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) and Sheffield Gothic, of the School of English. The researchers involved are Emma Nagouse, Mary Going, Holly Dan, Kelly Richards D'Arcy-Reed, Naomi Hetherington, Dana Alex and Ash Darrow.

The team are currently inviting papers and posters that explore any aspect of the Buffyverse, including film, television, fan fiction, comics, table-top and digital games, merchandise and spin-offs. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should be sent to, along with a short bio. The deadline for submissions is 18 March 2019. Please indicate whether your submission is a paper or a poster presentation.

The conference is open to researchers at any level (including undergraduates, postgraduates, early career researchers and independent scholars) and from any discipline.

Announcements: February 2019

Venue: we are delighted to announce that the venue for Buffy and the Bible conference will be the Gothic deconsecrated St. George’s Church - a very appropriate setting, as we're sure you can agree!

Registration: The registration fee for the conference will be £15. Due to support received from WRoCAH, we are able to offer a small amount of travel bursaries (up to £15 pp) for students and ECRs in the UK. These are offered on the basis of need; you can apply for these bursaries when registration opens.

Sing-a-long screening and discussion: Finally, we are delighted to announce that we will be hosting a sing-a-long screening of the groundbreaking musical episode 'Once More with Feeling' on the evening of July 4th. This screening will be accompanied by a discussion led by the conference organisers (details TBC) and a drinks reception. Conference tickets will include access to this event, but you can chose to buy a ticket for the screening on its own if you wish to.


‘Gothic Theology and Morality’ panel at the 13th Biennial International Gothic Association (IGA) conference

On 21st July 2017 at the 'IGA: Gothic Traditions and Departures' held at UDLA in Cholula, Mexico, our co-directors Christopher Scott and Mary Going presented papers as part of a ‘Gothic Theology and Morality Panel. Christopher’s paper was titled ‘Gothic Theologies: Eden, Religious Tradition, and Ecological Exegesis in Algernon Blackwood’s ‘The Lost Valley’ and ‘The Transfer’, and Mary Going’s paper was titled ‘A New Cain: Examining Matthew Lewis’ Wandering Jew as the Archetype for the Gothic Wandering Jew.’ You can read more about the IGA conference here.

Gothic Bible 2017

On 31st October 2017, SIIBS and Sheffield Gothic hosted Gothic Bible, a one day, interdisciplinary conference. Fittingly taking place on Halloween, and with the venue suitable decorated in Gothic and Halloween attire, Gothic Bible brought together students and academics from Biblical and Gothic studies to share their research. Keynoting the conference was Dr. Naomi Hetherington, a tutor in the Department for Lifelong Learning and member of SIIBS, with her talk ‘“Cos it’s always got to be blood”: Sacrifice, Self-harm and the Sacred in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Five.’ Gothic Bible also included four panels, contributing a diverse range of papers which explored the following themes: ‘Figures of Christ, Satan, and Demons’, ‘The Bible, Gothic, and Illness’, ‘National and Religious Identity’, and ‘The Bible and Gothic in Digital Media and Culture’.

Gothic Bible Blog Series

Hosted on the Sheffield Gothic blog, this ongoing series will explore the Gothic, the Bible, and religious across a diverse range of subjects. If you would like to contribute to the blog series, please email using Gothic Bible Blog Series as the email subject heading.

Project Leads

Mary Going

Mary Going is a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield researching Judaism within Romantic and Gothic fiction of the 1790s and early nineteenth century. Her research centres on depictions of Jewish identities and communities within the fiction of this period, with a particular focus on the figure of the Wandering Jew. She co-organizer of the ‘Reimagining the Gothic’ project, an ongoing interdisciplinary project created and run by Sheffield Gothic which hosts an annual ‘Reimagining the Gothic’ Symposium and Creative Showcase.

Twitter: @MazGoing

Christopher Scott

Christopher is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield studying English literature with a particular focus on supernatural fiction during the Edwardian era. He is a member of University of Sheffield’s Reimagining the Gothic and Sheffield Institute of Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS). His research interests lie in supernatural fiction and film alongside representations of theological iconography and the natural environment.

Dr Katie Edwards

Dr Katie Edwards is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English at the University of Sheffield and Director of Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS). Her research focuses on the intersections of gender, race and class in popular cultural reappropriations of biblical characters and narratives. Her publications include Admen and Eve: The Bible and Contemporary Advertising (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2012), The Messiah Wears Prada: Representations of Jesus in Contemporary Popular Culture (Bloomsbury, forthcoming), and the edited volume Rethinking Biblical Literacy (Bloomsbury, 2015). She is co-editor of the series The Bible and Social Identities (Bloomsbury).

Twitter: @KatieBEdwards

Dr Caroline Blyth

Caroline Blyth is senior lecturer in Biblical Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests encompass exploring the Bible in popular culture, focusing in particular on representations of gender and sexuality in biblical and contemporary narratives. She has a special interest in the various intersections that exist between religion and violence, and is currently obsessed with tracing biblical themes in contemporary crime fiction and drama. Her recent publications include The Narrative of Rape in Genesis 34: Interpreting Dinah’s Silence (OUP, 2010), Sexuality, Ideology and the Bible: Antipodean Engagements (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2015, co-edited with Robert Myles), and The Lost Seduction: Reimagining Delilah’s Afterlives as Femme Fatale (Bloomsbury, forthcoming). She is current managing co-editor of the Bible and Critical Theory journal.

Twitter: @CazBlyth