Not in the Spaces We Know: An Exploration of Science Fiction and the Bible

Frauke Uhlenbruch organized and edited an issue of the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures which explores intersections between science fiction and the Hebrew Bible. I was delighted and honored to have been asked to write a final response article for the volume.

The issue has now appeared online and so you can read it here:

It was great to see Frauke at AAR/SBL, and to meet other contributors to the issue face to face for the first time. Now I am sorry we didn’t snap a selfie to go with this blog post. Hopefully this one with Gail Dawson will serve as an appropriate substitute…

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  • David Evans

    That’s a very interesting collection. Much food for thought there.

    In your contribution you ask why faster-than-light travel should be accepted as a future possibility, while divine action in miracles is rejected. I can think of several reasons:

    A large part of the pleasure in “hard” SF comes from critiquing the proposed technical or scientific advances and wondering whether they make sense. Asking whether a particular miracle makes sense is a quite different undertaking and one for which I guess most SF readers would not consider themselves equipped. God moves in mysterious ways, after all.

    Another part of the pleasure in SF consists in watching the characters cope when their technology goes wrong – often, halfway through a long journey. Again, the idea that God might turn off the supply of miracles on which one relies is a different and more worrying one. What could one do but pray? – which does not make for a very interesting plot.

    And finally, of course, science has a long history of making possible what a previous generation of scientists had quite reasonably thought to be impossible. I agree with Einstein that no rocket motor will ever accelerate a spaceship past the speed of light. But there may be more subtle ways of attaining the same end.