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Star Trek and Sacred Ground: Explorations of Star Trek, Religion, and American Culture Hardcover – October 1, 1999
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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From Publishers Weekly
In the 13 essays in this book, religious studies professors in Canada, Britain and the United States discuss the role of religion in Star Trek. The first section of the book examines each of the successive television series, the second treats large themes (such as biblical imagery and death) and the third looks at the attitudes of fans. As the essays show, Star Trek has been torn between rejecting religion and affirming a quasi-religious faith in discovery and tolerance. This religiosity was present from the beginningAas in Spock's Vulcan creed of "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations"Abut the later Star Trek series have more freely explored religious themes. The editors congratulate Star Trek: Voyager, the latest series, for "recovering sacred ground" through New Age spirituality. Unfortunately, while providing a nuanced reading of Star Trek's evolution, the authors pay too little attention to its larger context. The final section on "Trekkies" is valuable, but most of the essays concentrate on the motivations and behavior of the show's characters, ignoring the corporate television producers and the viewers who together broughtAand continue to bringAthese characters to life. The book seems written more for Star Trek fans than for students of religion or American culture. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
a great start toward beginning to analyze the religious themes and motifs embedded in much of the media around us. RSiSS: Religious Studies in Secondary Schools
Star Trek and Sacred Ground is marvelous. All of the articles are relevant, clear and rational. They interpret this material diversely, courageously and with precise excellence. The judgments are relevant, the chapters skillfully ordered, and the essays fit together in building interpretations. The contributors succeed in bringing forth their positions individually and collectively. This book is simply brilliant, and more than interesting to read. Robert M. Garvin, State University of New York, Albany
The subject of religion/myth/spirituality has long been a favorite of Trek scholars and fans; this book gives the subject the serious treatment it deserves. Elyce Rae Helford, editor of Enterprise Zones: Critical Positions on "Star Trek"
..".a great start toward beginning to analyze the religious themes and motifs embedded in much of the media around us." -- RSiSS: Religious Studies in Secondary Schools
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One problem I've found infecting similar attempts is a detectable bias of the author. Taken as a whole the work does not suffer this, although a few exceptions do greet the reader like a coffee table on the shins. (The title of my review reveals several such bruises; the original series is maligned repeatedly, with misquoted, selective evidence, as anti-theistic.) And this book does suffer from a plenitude of sloppy editorial errors, including a bibliographical howler - it *must* be a joke, right? - in misspelling Phil Farrand's name.
All in all though, this book remains an impressive achievement and a credit to the contributors. This one's worth the time and the purchase for the true Trekker.