Doctor Who in Christianity Today

Doctor Who in Christianity Today October 7, 2015

There was an article by Sarah Bessey just recently in Christianity Today about Doctor Who, and it included a mention of the book that I co-edited, Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith: Religion and Doctor Who. Bessey blogs quite a bit about Doctor Who, and so it is great to see that turn into an article aimed at connecting with a host of possible new fans-to-be.

I am always happy when the intersection of science fiction and religion/bible/theology is explored, but am always disappointed when the treatment is superficial. Unlike most of her writing on the topic, the CT article includes statements like these:

The concept of the show involves Christian symbolism; the series reboot gets referred to as a “resurrection” and each new Doctor an “incarnation.”

I realize that sometimes things like this are necessary as a hook to get people to even investigate something further. But statements like that are, in my opinion, way too typical in discussions of religion and science fiction. There is a tendency to notice surface-level similarities without asking about the outlook and message of the show as a whole, or of individual episodes.

And so I hope that the article will get some people to try the show out. But I hope those who do so will eventually engage the show more deeply, and find in it those things which not only can be utilized to express their faith, but also those things which raise awkward and challenging questions for it. And if they get beyond the CT article into some of her more detailed blog posts, Bessey’s writings will help them do that.

I was also recently made aware of Rob Martin’s blog, which discusses Doctor Who from time to time from an Anabaptist perspective. See too Chuck Wendig’s post about sci-fi and Biblical canons.

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