On Secular Spirituality in the Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things, Series 1

Liesl E. King

York St John University, England. Email:

Volume IX, Number 3, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n3.03

Received August 07, 2017; Revised September 12, 2017; Accepted September 17, 2017; Published September 20,  2017.


This paper explores the way in which the Duffer Brothers’ popular Netflix series Stranger Things draws on religious symbolism in order to create an allegorical landscape, one which invites viewers to consider the most pressing topics of our time—climate change and ideological opposition. It argues that apocalyptic sf, with its focus on urgent contemporary questions related to technological advancement, is the perfect genre for exploring secular spirituality and ethics, as it potentially impacts as well as appeals to religious and non-religious viewers alike. The paper concludes by considering the way Stranger Things encourages viewers to consider what a ‘spiritual’ response to disaster might look like, and what we might do individually and collectively to become more aware of the damaged “hyperobjects” (Morton, 2013) that surround and move through us, but which can be extremely difficult to keep in clear view.

Keywords: Netflix series, Stranger Things, hyperobjects, climate change, ideological opposition.