1st Edition

Religion and Science Fiction An Introduction

By James H. Thrall Copyright 2024
    224 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Religion and Science Fiction: An Introduction guides students into deeper understanding of how religion and science fiction engage often overlapping questions.

    This textbook introduces key ideas of religious studies through critical consideration of print and visual media that fall within the general category of science fiction. The goal throughout is to help students move beyond simply identifying points of interrelation between religious studies and forms of what is often called, more broadly, speculative fiction, to considering how the studied texts open new ways of thinking about human (and non-human) experience taken to be religious.

    With discussion questions, lists of key terms, extensive additional resources, and suggestions for projects and essay questions, this book is a foundational text for students and instructors of religion and science fiction.

    1. Introduction: Knowing Things

    2. Re-presenting Traditions: New and Old

    3. Telling Stories/Acting Them Out (Myth/Ritual)

    4. Imagining Divinity

    5. Evil, Sin, and Suffering: Dealing with What’s Wrong

    6. Being Human?

    7. Encountering the Alien Other

    8. Gender Utopia/Gender Dystopia

    9. Race, Science Fiction, and the Future

    10. Running Out of Time: SF Eschatology




    James H. Thrall directs the religious studies program at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he is the Knight Distinguished Professor for the Study of Religion and Culture.

    "An extensive and diverse approach to significant texts in the world of science fiction and religion, this volume is a wonderful introduction for both students of religious studies and scholars interested in exploring the convergence of these fields."

    Laura AmmonAppalachian State University, USA.

    "If you teach a course on science fiction and religion, this is the textbook you’ve been waiting for. We have long needed a book that surveys the breadth and depth of religion in sci-fi, and does so in a manner attentive to representing the diversity of cultures, eras, and religions of the authors and characters in the genre. Thrall’s book offers that and does it well, discussing most or all of the stories you’re likely to assign in a course like this."

    James F. McGrath, Butler University, USA.