top of page

Follow Me: Religion in SFF - Giovanni Carmine Costabile

Pre-orders are now open for Luna's latest Call for Papers! Follow Me: Religion in Fantasy and Science Fiction. Pre-order yours here! Ebook also available on the usual retailers' sites.

Our Award Winning series, welcomes essays from academics, independent researchers, fans and creative writers, appealing to both the casual reader and a more research-oriented one. We consider this cross-disciplinary collaboration a strength, and the beginning of many more journeys.

The book will be released on the 20th of June, so we have plenty of time to introduce you to our contributors.

Today we'll introduce you to Giovanni Carmine Costabile - Italy - presenting the paper, “This is my story” - Girardian Theory and the Christian Subtext of Final Fantasy X.


The major trend in the scholarship and general opinion concerning the 2001 Squaresoft role-playing videogame Final Fantasy X (FFX) has always been inclined towards an antireligious, antitheistic view of the game in all of its narratological, worldbuilding, ludological, and even musicological aspects. According to Sjølie, from an “analysis of both the narratological and ludological design of Final Fantasy”, one infers that the “rhetoric in the game essentially suggests to the player that a world free of religion is the ultimate goal, and will eventually save the world” (2018, p.63), so coming “to the conclusion that the game carries elements of both Nietzschean and Marxian theories regarding religious critique” (p.63). Even in his 2017 MM thesis on the musicology of the Hymn of the Fayth, Greenfield-Casas declares without compromise that his field of inquiry will be “FFX’s overtly antitheistic storyline that ends in deicide” (p.5). However, Caldwell in 2013 had argued that “Final Fantasy X uses its social framing of religion to provide the potential for religious education, which is a different but still potent form of religious experience” (58), and in 2015 even added that the game “is one of the most compelling examples yet of video games’ potential as spheres of religious experience” (p.160). My proposal entails the application of René Girard’s theory of the scapegoat to the sacrificial narrative of FFX to shed light on the Christian subtext of a videogame only superficially readable as antireligious, instead proving itself a foreshadowing of the overt Christology of Final Fantasy XV.

About the Author:

Giovanni Carmine Costabile (MPhil) Italian independent scholar, translator, writer, teacher. He presents at conferences in Italy and abroad and has published in several international academic journals and volumes dedicated to the Middle Ages, Medievalism, and Tolkien. He is the author of a monograph on Tolkien in Italian (“Oltre le Mura del Mondo”, 2018), of a commentary in English on Tolkien’s essay On Fairy-stories (“The Road to Fair Elfland”, 2022), and conducted authorized research in the Tolkien Archive in Oxford. He translated more than ten volumes both from Italian into English and from English into Italian. He is the Editor of Phronesis Publishers’s ‘Silmarilli’ series of Tolkien criticism, and a writer for the ‘Fellowship & Fairydust’ foundation and magazine from Maryland. For Phronesis he is also the author of the high fantasy trilogy “Cronache di Arlen”.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page