I was reading the Dallas Morning News' Religion Blog where Jeffrey Weiss commented that he found Evangelical Theological Society President Francis J Beckwith's comparison of the National Association of Evangelicals with Star Trek's United Federation of Planets humorous. (Beckwith's comment is found in Cathy Lynn Grossman's recent article on Evangelicalism in USA TODAY.)
Weiss thought Beckwith's comment was funny because the original Star Trek world was particularly religion-free. Similarly, as I recall from reading Isaac Asimov's wonderful Foundation novels, religion was presented as something only practiced by the uneducated.
The vast majority of the books I read and like are non-fiction. But every now and then I'll find some fiction author I like and tear through many or all of their books. Some years ago, I discovered that practically everyone I knew was reading Orson Scott Card and his Enders series. I began reading them and they were so good I was reading them at stoplights. One of the features of his books that I really appreciated was that religion was not depreciated.
We had Tivo'd Battlestar Galactica's Season Premiere and Tuesday night I was watching it. (For those of you who don't know the series, it's not to be compared to the campy 70's series. It's more sophisticated and darker.) One of the interesting features of the series is that the humans are polytheists but the Cylons are theists. And religion is not only treated respectfully, but is a central feature of the show's story arc.
I can't say that I've read widely enough in this genre to know if this apparent increased religiosity is just a happenstance of my own exposure to sci-fi, or if it's definitely a trend. Either way, I find this treatment of religion interesting in what many would call a secular age.
I do think that it's an evidence of man's hunger for God.
If you're a sci-fi fan, have you noticed the same? Other thoughts?
photo from the hubblesite gallery