Rod of Alexandria on Religion and Science Fiction

Rod has finished blogging through Religion and Science Fiction over at Political Jesus. I must say that I am rather disappointed with how his series ended – with Rod asserting more than once that everything is allegory, and allegory everything. One of the points the book illustrates throughout, and the final chapter emphasized only to apparently have it ignored by Rod, is that the search for allegories in sci-fi (and other literature and films), looking for Christ figures for instance, is the most superficial sort of exploration of the intersection of religion and science fiction. And so when Rod says he doesn’t have a method for exploring religion and science fiction, that very assertion suggests that he needs one.

I appreciate Rod’s series, but I think it important to point out that it seems at times to give a treatment that is only superficial and singular – which is ironic, given the book’s aim of illustrating the range of ways that religion and sci-fi can intersect, and the variety of approaches that can be used to explore the points of intersection.

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  • Rodney Thomas

    I don’t even have a methodology for doing theology. I just do it, and its pretty random and indicative of constructive theology circles nowadays.

    And by saying, “allegory is everything, everything is allegory” is not the same thing as searching for Christ in films at all times, in fact, I try to avoid this much of the time.

    I think I have to clarify my statements, people are taking me out of context lately.

    A response forthcoming.

  • EdwardTBabinski

    Is there a supreme allegory by which all other allegories ought to be measured?

    • Rodney Thomas

      In a word:


  • James F. McGrath

    Rodney, I wonder whether, if you had actually provided enough context to make your meaning clear, then whatever you feel has been misunderstood would have been understood the way you hoped it would. I don’t think there is any sense in which I have taken what you wrote out of context, but I do think that there may be so much that you left unsaid that what you wrote was open to multiple interpretations.

    • Rodney Thomas

      You are correct, James, that what I wrote was up for interpretation, but your post took my comments in a direction I never meant to.

  • James F. McGrath

    I do apologize. I felt bewildered and somewhat frustrated by the brevity of your remarks, which came across as dismissive, and was surprised by this. I had never known you to give such cursory treatment to anything related to Sci-Fi in the past! :-)

    • Rodney Thomas

      Honestly, James I was tired from work and I need to go on to a different book review, for another peer. I meant no harm in my brief remarks, just closure as I moved forward. I was not dismissing Blythe’s article; if it came across that way, I do apologize.

  • James F. McGrath

    No problem, and I really do appreciate your having taken the time to review the book, and now also to clarify your meaning and approach.

    I have shared a link to your response on my blog, adding a few thoughts of my own.

    Thanks as always for the opportunity to interact. Will you be making it to AAR in San Francisco? If so, I hope you’ll come to the religion and Sci-Fi session!

    • Rodney Thomas


      I would love to make it to AAR, and if my job situation changes, maybe it can work out. But right now, the situation looks bleak.