Doctor Who as Religion

I don't always blog about Doctor Who. But when I do, for the most part I blog about the intersection of Doctor Who and religion, meaning the treatment of religious themes, motifs, and images on the show.

Today I had a link drawn to my attention about Doctor Who as religion.

Granted, the article is a year old and is from But still, when it has stuff like the following, it is surely worth sharing:

Watching Doctor Who Is Like Having A Relationship With God.

And I don't mean the Doctor is a metaphor for gods we know, the way the lion is Jesus in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I mean the Doctor is a god. But one we can see and understand. And he loves us more than all the other creatures in the universe. He would die for us, but what he really wants to do is live with us. So it's no wonder the show has fanatics. It's not a show. It's a philosophy. A religion.

Click through to read more (and see also another article from last year, this one in The Guardian, also on this topic). But more importantly, do you think that Doctor Who, or any science fiction show or series, can actually serve as a religion in any meaningful sense? If so, which one? And does the article suggest something important about traditional religions, something that one might be able to learn by analogy from watching Doctor Who?


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  • Steve Douglas

    It’s never promising when the first sentence of a blog post is a bald-faced lie. 😉 But thankfully, things improved.

    When catching up on New Who last summer I definitely had similar thoughts to that article. I certainly began to see some of the attraction to open theism and process theology. But there are also affinities to a more traditional incarnational theology as well, with the Doctor as fully “human” working through the constraints of our universe, although able to occasionally transcend it. It’s something I can’t help but think through when watching the series.

    • James F. McGrath

      At the top of the page there are links to the posts before and after this one. Neither is about Doctor Who. So you see, it only seems like I always blog about Doctor Who! :-)

      • Steve Douglas

        Oh, you said, “Doctor Who” – I keep getting him and God mixed up.

  • Marcus

    Part of what I enjoy about the show is the sense in which the Doctor is ‘godlike.’ I think the show does help us assess the ethics of God’s behavior in the Bible. It provides us with a display of actions that we aren’t potentially so ideologically committed to and allows us to asses that behavior without some of the presuppositions that we may have about the God of the Bible.