Science Fiction Theology

Science Fiction Theology June 30, 2015

I am grateful to Baylor University Press for having sent me a complimentary copy of a book that I read prior to publication and provided a blurb for. The book is Science Fiction Theology: Beauty and the Transformation of the Sublime by Alan Gregory. Here is what I wrote, part of which became the blurb for the back of the book:

Science fiction depicts the vast extent of space and time, the enormity of the worlds that can exist within minds (whether human, alien, and artificial), and beings and technologies with terrifying destructive power. But as familiar as these motifs are, few who enjoy science fiction, and even relatively few of us who study it as academics, are familiar with the way these themes relate to a particular context of human literature, art, and philosophy, with an approach to nature and to awe that has not always been a part of human culture. Alan Gregory’s excellent book Science Fiction Theology demonstrates and explores these connections, in conversation with sci-fi authors, theologians, philosophers, mystics, and an impressive array of others. In the process, he reveals the profoundly theological underpinnings and implications of the unexplored depths of sci-fi’s most characteristic components. And Gregory guides the reader through these subjects with an insightful eloquence that deserves to be widely read and widely quoted.

I can definitely say that I learned a great deal from the book about the history of science fiction, the thought world that shaped its classic outlook, and much more. I trust that others will get as much out of it as I did!


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  • Sven2547

    Worf: “I prefer Klingon beliefs.”
    Kira: “I suppose your gods aren’t as cryptic as ours.”
    Worf: “Our gods are dead. Ancient Klingon warriors slew them a millennia ago. They were more trouble then they were worth.”

    • ccws

      I remember Dax & Worf re-enacting that in their wedding ceremony:

      “And when the two hearts began to beat together, they filled the heavens with a terrible sound. For the first time, the gods knew fear. They tried to flee, but it was too late. The Klingon hearts destroyed the gods who created them and turned the heavens to ashes. To this very day, no one can oppose the beating of two Klingon hearts.”

  • DickWilson

    Your post reminded me of how science fiction has served as a critical perspective for my developing religious self. In particular I remembered how “Letter from a Higher Critic” [Stewart Robb, 1966; ISFDB description: “parodies Biblical Higher Criticism by ‘proving’ that World War II never happened”] evoked and helped me to wrestle with emerging questions about my faith. I think in large part because I was so surprised to be reading something on biblical criticism in a SF anthology. 🙂