Sunday, July 6, 2014

Theology In BATTLESTAR & DS9

I'm having two sci fi experiences that are really causing the theological juices to flow. I'm watching for the first time the 2000's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Boy, is it good. The acting is ridiculous, and the themes are so rich. The show is permeated with religion and myth. The original series (which I barely watched a long time ago), was heavily steeped in Mormonism, and that symbolism is present here as well, though the overall show seems to include a critique of Mormonism in that the Cylons (the cybernetic race at war with humanity) are critical of the polytheism of their human counterparts.

The Cylon race is trapped between the programming that makes up their minds and the spirituality born of their newly found consciousness. They do things that seem very constricted by binary feelings yet they seem aware of so much more. Their is horror and wonder in so much of what they do. The show even has angels. Theological reflection is literally everywhere and I love it.

While I'm watching BATTLESTAR for the first time, I'm also RE-watching STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE. I had forgotten how religious this show was. STAR TREK has generally lacked a lot of direct theological reflection, though the other series certainly touched on philosophical issues relevant to faith issues. But so many of the DS9 episodes directly struggled with issues of faith and theology. I was shocked. DS9 has always been my favorite overall TREK series, and now I fully realize why.

A friend once told me that all truly great science fiction is deeply theological. Certainly most of my favorite sci if is. Additional to the television shows I'm watching I'm revisiting the early ADAM WARLOCK stories which are Christ parables. There is something about the power of religion, manifesting in these forms. I've commissioned an art project that will kind of visually express what it all means to me. I'll show you when I get it. For now, I commend all these aesthetic adventures to you. But ultimately I commend to you the one who reveals to us the Reality which all this reflects, and the fact all this fiction points to: Jesus Christ.

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