Religion and Science Fiction: Video Introduction

If the sound had been working properly in the classroom today, this is what students would have heard: [Read more...]

More Avatar Parallelomania

Here’s yet another identification of parallels between Avatar and another story – in this case Pocahontas. What seems to be missed by many is that, when we can identify so many parallels with so many stories, this suggests that the issue is not with Avatar but that many of our stories follow similar patterns and [Read More...]

Introduction to New Testament History and Literature

Brian LePort points out that Ekaputra Tupamahu is blogging again, and his most recent post provides links to all Dale Martin’s lectures on Introduction to New Testament History and Literature. Two of my three classes met for the first time today. My religion and science fiction class meets in a smart classroom, and although there [Read More...]

Millenial Mythmaking Interview

Just in time for my religion and science fiction class, which will meet for the first time when classes start at Butler tomorrow, TheoFantastique has posted an interview with David Whitt and John Perlich about their new book Millennial Mythmaking: Essays on the Power of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, Films and Games. [Read more...]

Sci-Fi Parallelomania

Here’s the plot of Avatar and Dune summed up in less than a minute: HT IO9, which also shared that the Doctor’s TARDIS may be getting a makeover this season: [Read more...]

Darth Edgar

How did I not realize sooner that the character of Edgar on Heroes is played by Ray Park, who also played Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace? Well, I suppose the make-up does obscure his identity a little… [Read more...]

Zwinglian Redactor Hypothesis

Although I was among the first to spread the news of Jim West’s returns, I am finding my scholarly skepticism kicking in. The blog that is so claimed contains no evidence of felinophobia, no photos of people at Wal-Mart, and very little sarcasm. My theory is that a Zwinglian redactor recovered some fragments of the works [Read More...]

Star Trek, Religion and Ethics

It would be possible to do a whole course just on religion in Star Trek (including, particularly in the original series, the lack of religion in places where we’ve come to expect it). In addition to encounters with many beings that might be considered “gods,” Star Trek also tackles many difficult issues, such as the [Read More...]

Dollhouse at the End of the World

If Dollhouse is any indication of what having a definite end in sight does to science fiction storytelling on TV, then we’re going to be satisfied not only with Dollhouse but also with Lost. Tonight we had longstanding mysteries solved, and yet at the same time unexpected twists and turns to keep us enthralled. If [Read More...]

Jim West is Back

Jim West is apparently back (thanks to Loren Rosson for drawing attention to this fulfillment of prophecy) - although having witnessed the appearance of +Wrong, I was half expecting a new blog called “Dr. Jim East” to materialize and offer simulacra and simulations of classic westian cat-hating Zwingli-loving sarcasm.  I wanted to find a photo of Jim West [Read More...]

Scrutinizing the Sci-Fi Syllabus

I’ve spent the morning thus far trying to finalize my syllabus for Religion and Science Fiction. I’m now going to share form it is currently in, in the hope that some readers with time and inclination may provide some feedback. If you see anything obvious that ought to be explicitly mentioned but isn’t, or relevant readings [Read More...]

Linguistics and the Dating of Texts

I first spotted the news about the decipherment of a 10th-century BC inscription, which turned out to be in Hebrew, on Scientific Blogging about 4 hours ago. Now I see the news has reached the biblioblogosphere. James Tabor relates the find to debates between minimalists and others. Bob Cargill rightly counters some of the hype [Read More...]

Conflicting Views on Religion and Science Fiction

I spent quite a bit of today (when I wasn’t shoveling snow) working on finalizing the syllabus for my religion and science fiction course. The main thing that had to be done was filling in some of the readings (and making some tough choices about what, as interesting as it might be, will have to [Read More...]

The Human Spark

I watched The Human Spark on PBS last night, a show about human evolution and what makes us distinctive, hosted by Alan Alda. I think even those who generally keep up to date on the natural sciences will find it interesting and informative. One thought that struck me as I watched was the contrast between the [Read More...]