Thursday, April 21, 2005

Star Trek and Theology

So in the process of doing research for my boss on God and communication in the modern world, I stumbled across an article by one Jolyon Mitchell, a professor of theology and communication at the University of Edinburgh. The article is titled "Star Trek and theology."

Oh yeah, that's right. Somebody (The Month) actually published this thing back in 1998.

Just to give you a taste of the content, here is a short excerpt:

"One of the central tenets of Star Trek is that there is a huge diversity of life elsewhere in the universe. As Captain Jean-Luc Picard affirms in `The Quality of Life' (TNG): `Recognising new life, whatever its form, is a principal mission of the vessel'. The discovery of new life is almost a weekly occurrence on Star Trek. This imaginative and fantastical exercise raises profound theological questions. For example, how might Jesus' life, death and resurrection be salvific for beings from other planets? Or would the discovery of life on other planets raise further questions about the uniqueness of the Christ event?"

Yup...that's read it correctly. This is an article that muses about theological aspects of Star Trek, largely focusing on TNG.

This brings me to my next point, which is about the superiority of TOS vs. TNG - TNG was filled with new-agey spiritual mumbo-jumbo that Mitchell finds fascinating and filled with theological possibilities - like Data's quest for humanity, and Troi's empath capabilities. Blech. I never much liked the emotional aspect of TNG. TOS was far superior - it involved more guns, more sex, more fistfights and much less namby-pamby evocatively thought-provoking sentimental emotional crap.

Interestingly, Mitchell fails to mention a single episode of TOS in his article, although he does cite some of the movies (which are inferior to either TOS or TNG).

Sadly, I just realized that by writing this blog entry I'm really not much better, because I bother to take the time to vent about Star Trek and, most frighteningly, express a preference for one series over another.

So in short, live long and prosper, and for the record, TOS has much more to do with Judaism than with Christianity (see the Vulcan hand gesture taken from the Kohanim). But that's a topic for another blog entry.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salvific? That is real blech. However, sex on TOS - I don't think so - at least not on the surface. They were masters of the implied in those days, which is why it seems so sexy.

2:33 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home