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Religion and Science Fiction Paperback – 27 Sep 2012

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: James Clarke and Co Ltd; Reprint edition (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718892550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718892555
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,123,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


The editor succeeds in presenting a treatment in which diverse topics are taken into account. --Alessandro Giostra, Reviews in Religion & Theology, March 2013

...this apparently frivolous exploration of mechanised morality and robotic religion prompts serious questions about what it means to be a person and, particularly, a person made in the image of God. --he Rt Revd Dr John Saxbee, Church Times, 7 June 2013

More than merely fascinating food for thought... --Simon Locke, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol. 28, Issue 3, 2013

[...] this work provides well-written essays on science fiction and its critique/use of culture [...] --James T. Turner, Jr., The Expository Times, Volume 125, No.2, November 2013

'Religion and Science Fiction will be of interested to a wide variety of individuals. Students, instructors and general readers in areas such as film studies, literature, history, philosophy, religious studies and cultural studies will find this an interesting and informative collection. It will also be of interest to fans of a variety of science fiction shows, movies, and books. I commend it to each and every one.' --Michael K. Jones, United Church of Canada, in Theological Book Review (tbr), Vol. 25, No.1, 2013

[...] this work provides well-written essays on science fiction and its critique/use of culture [...] --James T. Turner, Jr., The Expository Times, Volume 125, No.2, November 2013

About the Author

James F. McGrath is Associate Professor of Religion and the Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University in Indianapolis. He is the author of John's Apologetic Christology (2001) and The Only True God (2009).

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This is a book that promises much, yet delivers very little by way of religion/ theology. When religion is offered, it is often in a ham-fisted way, looking for simple symbolism within certain films, yet too often failing to offer an in-depth analysis of wider themes with either theology or science fiction, or now the two interrelate. (There are of course some intellectual gems which sweeten the pudding, but most of the time, on the very few occasions religion is mentioned, it is often viewed at a very basic level.) It is the difference between CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien: the former used broad-brush strokes and bold colours in bringing religious allegory into his fiction - thus there is little depth or subtly, where as in Tolkien, the religious elements are far more subtle (and much more enjoyable, because they are less forced).

There is also a contextual error within the book itself, as it does not properly describe what is meant by religion: is it referring to Western Judeo-Christian readings; ethical readings; or, theological readings. Is it looking for how religion is portrayed in science fiction, or how religious themes appear in science fiction. This lack of boundaries means that ethics is often read as (and mistaken for) religion. Thus the ethics (and ethical potentialities) of some story or narrative idea are described in some detail, yet do not relate in any way to religious understandings. Thus there is a lengthy discussion of how American comic book heroes came, in the 1930s onwards, became secular gods for adolescents and adults, but this is hardly religion, more the intellectual anthropology of pre/post-war America and whilst not uninteresting, does not answer the questions raised by such a thesis, which is both 'why' such a move occurred (i.e.
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