Holy Enterprising Stormtroopers, James “Dr. Who” McGrath! It’s the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Artsy-Science Fiction!
Posted on April 18, 2012 at 5:26 am by Dr. Jim
We finally got the poster for the Research In Religious Studies Conference (May 5-6) done, and Bev, our admin assistant put our keynote speaker front and centre (well, a little off to the left, but that’s politically OK in my books). And who is it? None other that Biblioblogging’s own James McGrath!
Just in case the type is too small on the poster, here is the text:
“Religion in Star Trek and Doctor Who: From a Gallifreyan God to the Enlightened Enterprise”
The treatment of religious themes and ideas in science fiction has been a focus of significant scholarly attention in recent years. Doctor Who (the longest running science fiction TV show in history) and Star Trek (a close competitor in terms of longevity when sequels and spin-offs are considered) provide an opportunity to trace how the intersection of sci-fi and spirituality has changed and evolved over the past half a century. Both shows tend to elevate scientific perspectives and regularly feature characters offering science as an antidote to superstition. And yet both depict scenarios in which mythical entities are encountered, albeit under the guise of aliens. So is the message of these shows that science triumphs over superstitious religiosity and mythology, or is it instead that we as viewers want to enjoy the same sorts of classic mythical stories, set within the framework of an updated worldview?