#CFP Bible and Science Fiction

#CFP Bible and Science Fiction November 6, 2018

I would have been delighted no matter what by the launch of the new Journal of Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies. Here’s the description from the “about” page on their website:

JIBS is a peer-reviewed, open access journal dedicated to publishing cutting edge articles that embody interdisciplinary, social justice-oriented, feminist, queer, and innovative biblical scholarship. We welcome submissions that challenge canonical and/or disciplinary norms and boundaries or that query the field of biblical studies’ relationship to the broader investigation of human religion, culture, and literature. JIBS will publish two issues a year in summer and in winter.

But here’s the call for papers for their first issue!

Bible and Science Fiction

Volume 1, Issue 1

The Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies invites submissions of articles for the launch of its inaugural issue in Summer 2019. The theme for this issue is the Bible and science fiction. We especially welcome articles dealing with the interactions of biblical and related texts with literary, television, film and other cultural artifacts exploring themes of science fiction, including human/non-human identities and interactions, canon and canonicity, colonization and exploration, creation, destruction, stewardship, and/or any other relevant focus.

Please see Submission Guidelines for more information.

Deadline: 14 January 2019

The question, for me, is which of these various things I should write about!

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  • John MacDonald

    An interesting essay might be one comparing Ecclesiastes and Nietzsche with the Q continuum Philosopher Quinn from Star Trek Voyager.

    Ecclesiastes says:

    “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

    Nietzsche expresses the same thought when he says:

    “The heaviest burden: “What, if some day or night, a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh… must return to you—all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over again and again—and you with it, speck of dust!’ Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god, and never have I heard anything more divine!’ If this thought were to gain possession of you, it would change you as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, “do you want this once more and innumerable times more?” would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?”

    (from Nietzsche’s The Gay Science, s.341, Walter Kaufmann transl.)

    We see a similar sentiment expressed by the Q continuum Philosopher Quinn in the Star Trek Voyager Episode “Death Wish”:

    Quinn shows the court a representation of the Q Continuum, which appears as a road stretching around the entire planet with one rest stop, a country gas station and store, and some bored Q standing around. Quinn describes immortality as dull, explaining that it is only possible to experience the universe so many times before it gets boring. Q tries to dismiss it and makes a poor attempt to show that the other members of the continuum are happy, but Quinn sees through it and confesses, to Q’s surprise, that it was Q’s earlier unrestrained behavior in an attempt to make his life fun that was the motivation for his own actions. He makes an impassioned speech comparing his eternal boredom to suffering from a terminal biological disease for which suicide is the only humane release, and that being forced to live for eternity against his will “cheapens and denigrates” his life, and indeed all life.

    This all fits in with Swiss Psychiatrist/Philosopher Dr. Medard Boss’ point that:

    Dr. Medard Boss: Our patients force us to see the human being in his essential ground because the modem neuroses of boredom and meaninglessness can no longer be drowned out by glossing over or covering up particular symptoms of illness. If one treats those symptoms only, then another symptom will emerge again and again … They no longer see meaning in their life and … they have become intolerably bored