The Importance of Theology and Science Fiction

This round-up of posts began when W. David O. Taylor shared his syllabus for an independent study about theology and science fiction. My own thoughts are turning to this very intersection of subjects, as one of my sabbatical projects is a short volume on theology and sci-fi.

Then, Russell McCutcheon blogged about the AAR draft statement on responsible research, and felt that it related directly to something in the last season of Doctor Who.

And today, there was the terribly ignorant article by Jeff Schweitzer in the Huffington Post about how the discovery of Earth 2.0 is “bad news for God.” The article led one professor I know to respond by saying that it illustrates why the academic study of religion and theology is so crucially important- and it also made him feel like stabbing his forehead with a spork. A course on theology and science fiction is one of the places where someone could learn about the long history of discussion of this very topic, and the ways in which Schweitzer gets the available options for the Christian tradition – and religion in general – badly wrong.

Mitchell Alfson blogged about his presentation on the subject of faith and doubt in comic books at the Upper Midwest Regional AAR meeting.

Chris Heard blogged about “character-izing” his classes – the use of fictional characters for storytelling as well as role play. I have wanted to do more along those lines, and will be spending a lot of my time at Gen Con this year attending seminars and workshops aimed at educators. The Chronicle had a report recently on gaming in education. I’ve had so much fun learning when it was done right – and learned so much having fun when it was done right – that I want to explore ways of making sure those experiences characterize my classes, to the extent that I can. Chris has a voting box in his post, asking for feedback, so please do click through and participate!

There are also calls for papers about sci-fi and the medical humanities (with an accompanying job), and horror and the interdisciplinary humanities.

Religion and science fiction Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image

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The Cruelty of Young-Earth Creationism
"I think religious studies is one of the premier disciplines for research-based debate. For instance, ..."

Tying Burdens on Students’ Backs and ..."
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  • Shiphrah99

    Love love love! the poster!

  • Gary

    Earth 2.0 has a significant impact on us, 1400 light years away? Pluto is more surprising. Ice mountains, no impact craters, young geology (200 million years young). What’s up with that? Very strange. Life 1400 light years away, not so surprising. Hasn’t Jeff Schweitzer ever watched Star Trek? Geez, does he think we live in a hole?