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Science Fiction and Religion

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Showing 1-11 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 27, 2007, 11:26:23 AM PST
I am teaching a section of a "Science and Religion" and am looking for a science fiction novel that deals with the issues surrounding science and religion. I don't want a "Christian" science fiction book.

What I would really like would be a science fiction novel that poses a critique of the modern, secular, scientific worldview. I would like to find a non-religious science fiction work that poses some of the same questions/critiques that might come from a religious perspective. And a bonus would be for that work to reflect the criticisms that science/modernism might have for religion.

Basically I want to see the science/religion debate/dialogue played out in the plot of a science fiction novel.

Posted on Mar 21, 2009, 11:40:22 PM PDT
Did you ever find anyone to fulfill your request for science and religion?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2009, 8:42:50 AM PDT
E. Branch says:
While it doesn't address all the issues, I think Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow and the followup The Children of God (which I haven't yet read) address some of them--at least as a startup. You can get a sense of them from listening to Krista Trippett's interview of Russell at

Posted on Apr 21, 2009, 12:01:22 PM PDT
I have found the books by James Morrow - not necessarily Science and Religion focused - but still very good stories and thought-provoking too.

Posted on May 29, 2009, 2:14:33 PM PDT
Science Fiction shouldn't be religious fiction. :P

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2009, 8:35:41 AM PDT
E. Branch says:
I'm not sure that science fiction has ever had such limitations. Pro, con, agnostic... it has not refused to back down from any subject, especially when it comes to dealing with "moral" dilemmas. And for those who read it as enjoyment and are religiously bent (no slight intended), it could prove to be an enlightening challenge.

Posted on Mar 8, 2010, 8:41:14 PM PST
Not sure if they fit your criteria, but in my opinion the science fiction novels that best treat religious issuess are:
(1) Star Maker, Olaf Stapledon
(2) Out from the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis
(3) A Case of Conscience, James Blish
(4) A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter Miller

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2010, 4:40:19 PM PST
E. Branch says:
I agree and would add The Sparrow by M. Russell

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2011, 11:05:03 AM PST
S. Starrett says:
Why not?

Posted on Oct 5, 2012, 12:21:21 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 5, 2012, 12:23:11 AM PDT]

Posted on Oct 5, 2012, 12:44:12 AM PDT
Try Dragons Can Only Rust (Tsr Books, F/Sf) and Dragon Reforged by Chrys Cymri. They're about a robot dragon going on a quest to learn whether or not he has a soul. It's my favorite robot story I've ever read. Be sure to get both books, though; the first one cuts off very abruptly in the middle of things.

There's also the classic Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Dover Thrift Editions). It depicts a two-dimensional world inhabited by polygons. A square then has a close encounter with a three-dimensional sphere, something from completely outside his universe which he cannot prove to anyone.

Calculating God is a novel based on the implications of the Anthropic Principle -- the fact that conditions in our universe seem specifically fine tuned for life. In the novel, it turns out that aliens take the existence of God as a given because of this, and find human atheism to be a bizarre superstition.

Another you might check out is Brian Daley's novelization of the original Tron movie. He picks up and expands on the Christian symbolism of the film -- the Users as God to the programs; the programs being unable to conceive of the Users' "outside" realm except in the vaguest religious terms; the programs who still believe in the Users being sent to die as gladiators; Flynn as Christ, being a User who has become a program, and who ultimately sacrifices himself to free them from a rebellious, megalomaniacal program, the demonic MCP--and in so doing, ascends back to his home world.

And, as has already been said, Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book One) Publisher: Scribner is wonderful.

Oh, and one I absolutely have to mention is Stardust and Ashes : Science Fiction in Christian Perspective. Even if you're not a believer, it's still one of the most brilliant analyses of the philosophy of the s.f. I've ever read.
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Participants:  7
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Nov 27, 2007
Latest post:  Oct 5, 2012

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Out of the Silent Planet
Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis (Paperback - 2000)
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