Thursday, July 5, 2012

Intro to Religion, Science, and Fiction

Welcome to the Religion in Science Fiction blog! I'll be posting readings here for the time being.

Homework for Tuesday, April 10:

McKee, The Gospel According to Science Fiction (excerpts)
    Read the introductory materials and the first 10 pages, then skim the rest and choose one summary to read carefully and discuss in class.

Weingrad, "Why There is No Jewish Narnia" 
    Don't get bogged down in the particulars of the books Weingrad is reviewing, try to get at the heart of his comparison between Christianity/Fantasy and Judaism/Science Fiction.

Shelly, History of Science Fiction
    Follow the link above and spend at least 10 minutes exploring.  Keep a wikipedia tab open and look around for interesting shifts and changes.  (If this doesn't render properly on your browser, Right Click + Save As and then open the file).

   Go over the readings for the next month and pick your top 3 choices for being a discussion leader.  Write them down and bring them to class.

    Leave a comment below about the readings.  Posts should be 2-5 sentences, and can include questions, comments about the readings, responses to specific quotes, or replies to other students' posts.  Comments should be posted by midnight tonight.  Be sure to include your name somewhere.


  1. As far as melding religion and sci-fi goes, this story does it perfectly. It blew my mind when I first read it.

    "The Star' Arthur C. Clarke, 1955

    1. Also, this is Jeff... sorry about the name, Im a cult leader in my spare time

    2. And peep this when you get a chance:

  2. Harry Wolper said "When science finally peers over the crest of the mountain it will find that religion has been there the whole time." That might seem incongruous, but what is God but the creation of sciences? Religion is a means of praising God, Science is an effort to meet him.

  3. So i actually found myself reading Mckee's article in its entirety. I found very interesting because i strive to blend both religion and science in my works and loved his examples of humanities creating its own demise by focusing on too much science and religion.

  4. I enjoyed McKee's article. He rationalizes that "the apparent tension between faith and reason is simply an illusion created by few over zealous believers on both sides who hope that one will eliminate the other". He asks if science fiction could be the religious texts of the future and points out that the genre of science fiction is not just about predicting technological advances. Science fiction, also referred to in the article as "speculative fiction", is about theorizing the impact of new technology, and gaining new perspective, as well as, exploring imagination.
    We live in such a diverse world. Humans have come to understand many things including: chemistry, psychology, how to structure society, and much of the history of planet earth. After gaining all this knowledge we still have not yet lost this thing called "religion". What we have done is looked at other humans and have told each other we are different based on our religion, our language, or our culture. Science fiction allows the writer to combine all of these things: science, imagination, and often religion in some way to relate to reality, and get the reader to think.

    Michael McCarthy

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  6. "The goal of science fiction is to use its imaginary worlds to create a real world of the future that is beter than our present" (McKee xiii). After reading the excerpt from McKee's book, this quote is the one i kept coming back to. I've never really kept up with the world of science fiction but this made a lot of sense to me. To create a non-existing world that makes sense and perhaps functions better than our own as a model for our future is something to consider and it makes me wonder if this is what science fiction authors had in mind when writing their novels - were they creating their own perfect world?
    Lindsay Flight