Science Fiction

Playlist

Religion and Science Fiction

Learn about why SF is great material for studying religion while enjoying these episodes about Star Wars, fictional religions, and religion in SF.
Response

Science Fiction and the Para-Religious

[I]t is notable how infrequently religion appears as a major theme in the personal lives of famous science fiction authors and how many, including those for whom religion is a major theme in their work, are themselves either atheists or practitioners of idiosyncratic or unorganized alternative spiritualities...
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Navigating the Religious Worlds of Science Fiction and Video Games

There’s always another thing to see as data for religious studies, but widening the boundary for what counts as data comes with a price. Every new category is a multiplication. When your choices are infinite, then explaining your choices becomes an obligation.  
Podcast

Science Fiction, Video Games, and Religion

Science fiction and video games are more visible than ever as their popularity reaches record numbers. From classic arcade games to modern open-world sandbox simulators that require hundreds of hours to complete fully, science fiction is one of the most common gaming genres. This podcast explores the ways religion and science fiction appear together in these cultural products, asks how gamers see the value of this play, and how we seek belief in things that are 'out of this world' as a means to escape the present by sharing our hopes about the future.
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Time Travel and Fictions of Science

Despite his best scholarly efforts, Tylor’s Anahuac is “fiction” in the same way that Europeans have drawn on their vast reservoir of myths, legends, and stories of Amazons and the Lost Tribes of Israel in their mastery of the Americas. In 1856, Edward Burnett Tylor, of inscribed with “Huitzilopochtli the god of war, Teoyaomiqui his wife, and Mictlanteuctli the god of hell” all compiled into a gruesome symbol of Aztec religion. “There is little doubt," Tylor opined, “that this is the famous war-idol which stood on the great teocalliof Mexico,...
Podcast

Popular Culture, Dr. Who, and Religion

Go back to 2013 to discuss Religion & Pop Culture (and #DoctorWho) w/@ReligionProf It's a big universe, and sometimes things get lost in time and space. For instance, this 2013 interview with Dr. James F. McGrath was recorded
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Human Consciousness & Religious Reality

Essentially, Kripal calls out the religious studies world for not having a sufficient appreciation of the power of imagination and invites scholars and the interested public into a new comparativism that moves away from strict materialism. It was real to me. There I was, curled into a corner, comforter wrapped around my shaking limbs and sweating torso, twisted in terror in the sinister hours of the morning.
Response

Divine Inspiration Revisited

When encountered for the first time, the idea of a fiction-based religion might seem quite ’far out’ and counter-intuitive. How is it possible to mix together religion (that, supposedly, deals with faith and so with a truth of some sort) and works of popular culture, which are clearly created by human imagination, and so are by definition not true?
Podcast

Fiction-Based Religions

The majority of those who identified as a Jedi on the 2001 UK census were mounting a more-or-less satirical or playful act of non-compliance; nevertheless, a certain proportion of those were telling the truth. How does a religion constructed from the fictional Star Wars universe problematise how we conceptualise other religions, and the stories they involve?