Call for Papers: Escaping the Moment


Time Travel as a Negotiation of Transcendence | Journal for Religion, Film and Media

Time travel is transcendent per se, as it goes beyond physical boundaries and exceeds what is empirically observable. However, the idea of travelling through time is possible as a thought experiment in different media representations. Time travel represents a significant theme in the fantasy and science fiction genre. For example, in films, adapted everyday objects (such as cars) may serve as time machines and enable encounters with the future. In novels, protagonists intervene in their own past and cause chaos. In computer games, people experience adventures by virtually diving into other eras.

Thus, time travel is a central motif in popular culture that is dealt with in various media and several forms. Different media encourage us to think about our own temporal boundaries and conceptualizations of time according to their respective logic. The motif of time travel connects trust in technology with normative guidelines and processes of identity formation. Power over time is also associated with power over bodies and spaces, and with ideas about right and wrong as well as good and evil. In this respect, time travel is a mirror of cultural desires and expectations.

In this issue of the Journal for Religion, Film and Media, we will reflect on different media representations of time travel and their connection to transcendence.

We invite authors to focus in their contributions on questions such as:

  • How is time travel represented in media?
  • What concept of time underlies time travel?
  • How are time and space interconnected?
  • How are the different eras and places that are visited during travel through time represented?
  • What role do bodies, memory, and artefacts (such as machines) play in the concept of time travel?
  • Who are the protagonists of time travel (are they people, machines, rituals, places ...)?
  • What concept of society does time travel imply?
  • How does a trip through time change worlds, ideas, and persons?
  • How is the time travel motif connected to norms and values?
  • What identity processes are thereby formed?

We invite scholars from a range of relevant fields, such as literature, film and media studies, theology, and the study of religion, as well as of sociology or political sciences, to contribute to this issue. The issue also includes an open section for articles on other topics in keeping with the profile of JRFM. The deadline for all submissions is 10 February 2024. The publication is scheduled for November 2024. Contributions of 5,000 to 6,000 words (including notes) should be submitted for double-blind peer review through the journal website at We kindly ask authors to register and to follow the instructions for submitting contributions, especially the style guide. For questions regarding this call for papers or the submission and publication process, please contact the editors of the issue, Verena Marie Eberhardt ( and Anna-Katharina Höpflinger (