ReligionProf Podcast with Jeremiah Bailey

ReligionProf Podcast with Jeremiah Bailey February 20, 2019


This week’s episode features Jeremiah Bailey, with whom I’ve been connected for a long time as fellow bibliobloggers, but who I recently discovered also shares something else in common with me: we’ve both written and published science fiction short stories! You can find his in the compilation Robots and Artificial Intelligence Short Stories published by Flame Tree Publishing.

One of the ideas that occurred to me during the recording of the podcast was that it would be great to produce a volume featuring academics who have become writers of fiction, especially (but not necessarily exclusively) science fiction. I mean, of course, academics who are not teachers of creative writing, but academics for whom this is something we do in addition to (or in some cases instead of) teaching in our area of expertise, rather than as the thing we are expected to do professionally as part of our academic work. If such a volume were to be assembled, presumably Mary Doria Russell, Stephen L. CarterRachel Hodges, Paul Levinson, Frauke Uhlenbruch, Ben Witherington, Paula Gooder, Ken Schenck, Gary Burge, John Byron, and Richard Bauckham ought to be among the contributors. We could probably have more than one volume, with one just focused on sci-fi, and another focused on biblical historical fiction, and probably have enough contributors for each. Who else should be part of something like this?

I have also been wondering whether there might not be a need for, or at the very least room for, a magazine (whether print, online, or both) that focused on science fiction with religious and/or spiritual themes. They would not have to be central in every instance, and this certainly would not be an outlet for sectarian propaganda under the guise of literature. Instead, it would be for any kind of exploration of religion through sci-fi, whether committed, sympathetic, agnostic, opposed, or merely interested and analytical. How many authors do you think would contribute if there were such a magazine? How often could there be a new issue? How many of you would read it?

Let me end with two things. The first is a great meme that Jeremiah shared on Facebook. In case you can’t tell, it features Karl Barth recommending that St. Paul read his (i.e. Barth’s) commentary on Romans. I love that Paul seems unamused…

Last but not least, here is a call for papers for a conference exploring the intersection of technology and film:

https://relcfp.tumblr.com/post/182881975992/call-for-area-proposals-film-history-33119

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  • Ken Schenck

    Sounds fun!

    • Excellent! I’ve already heard from another academic fiction author who is interested, and so this might be worth pursuing.

      In the meantime, you and I should set up a day and time to get you on my podcast to talk about your own pursuit of this, if you’re interested in doing so.

      • Ken Schenck

        Any time (hyperbole)