Growth of the Jedi

Tomorrow in my class on religion and science fiction, we’ll be talking about non-theistic religion depicted in science fiction, in movies like Star Wars and Avatar.

Today Religion Nerd brought two links to my attention. One is a Fox News interview about Jediism. The second is Benjamin Svetkey’s article “Church of the Jedi” about spending time with a group of practicing Jedi. Here’s a quote:

“No, we don’t worship Yoda,” says Tennessee-born Ally Thompson, a pretty, chatty 28-year-old Padawan (and Iraq-war vet) who is to be knighted at the ceremony. “And telekinesis is not something that we necessarily do—at least not like in the movies. But I won’t deny that the Force is very present in our teachings. Some people call it magic. Some call it Ashe. The scientific community calls it energy. But it’s everywhere. You can find it in the Bible. When Moses parted the Red Sea—how did he do that? With energy. With the Force.”

Click through to read more of its discussion of both Jediism on its own terms and in comparison with Christianity.

Of related interest, American Jesus shared a painting of Darth Vader carrying Jesus through the rubble of 9/11. Any attempt to explain why someone made such a painting would be welcome!

Finally, here is how you can identify if your child will grow up to be a Jedi, even if they are too young to speak:

UPDATE: There is more about the painting by Cedric Chambers, the title of which is “The Prophet,” at Matthew Paul Turner’s blog and The Huffington Post. And let me add Jeff Carter’s strangest nativity set ever:

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