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WRITTEN IN THE STARS
THE NATURE OF SCIENCE FICTION AND ITS RELATION TO RELIGION


INTRODUCTION

Science fiction has long been a source of both interest and offense to religious people. With one hand it asks questions about the nature of God and the universe, and with the other it presents fictional dioramas that may explain away the very foundations the faithful stand firm upon. Some Christians fear science fiction as though it were a prophetic word about the future state of religion, and some science fiction works seem to assume that role.

Yet within science fiction one can explore both the difficult questions of philosophy and the perception of religion by the non-religious. In fact, one of science fictions eye-catching elements is the ability to deal with deep religious meaning and future speculation and, "it may in fact be science fiction's potential as a partner in speculation about the future of religion that holds such fascination." [1]

The Nature of Science Fiction

When the genre first appeared the subject was more about technological feats and a fundamental shift from stories about "little green men" to stories which dealt with real problems and a quest for meaning. This enabled science fiction to approach the realm of religion.[2]

Within science fiction there is a tension between science, expressed in technology, and humanity, expressed in freedom.[3] It is the tension that forms the underpinings of many plots. In some ways, science fiction can be observed as a basis for dialogue about men's possibilities.[4]

But "the value of the sci-fi film for the Christian lies more in its metaphysical character than in what it reveals of science. The sci-fi tradition thus poses metaphysical- and theological- questions to the ever expanding domain of scientific knowledge. One might view these questions in terms of at least two biblical motifs: Creation and the Fall, and the Apocalypse."[5] In many sci-fi stories there is an elemental question of the nature of man: is he fundamentally good or evil? Will man, left to his own devices build a utopian society or destroy life as he knows it?

An author named Frederick Kreuziger has written two books about the apocalyptic nature of science fiction. He states that:

"The central, operative theme of apocalyptic is the myth of end which is not an end, but a passage into a new time which has no end! It is truly a new age, not just another age. For apocalyptic there has to be another time, for this time is limited. This is the key to the other world which exists now, the other world which knows no limits."[6]

For the Christian the notion of passing from one world into another is similar to stepping from this life to the Afterlife. In Christian theology it is a hope of Glory in Heaven which is an anchor to hold the church steady in this stormy world. Kreuziger elaborates:

"Both apocalyptic and science fiction require a 'letting go' of the illusions of reality, a denial of 'things' rigidity' And the greatest illusion, the most rigid of mental restraints is that the possible alone dictates the future. Both apocalyptic and science fiction present us with a dimension of desire. Further: It is the form of this desire (much more so than the content) which links apocalyptic with science fiction. For the form of this desire is story. Both apocalyptic and science fiction tell a story about the future of things to come. What people desire above all else is a story which makes sense of what lies ahead, and nonsense of what is happening now. Thus the dark optimism of apocalyptic; for it must needs destroy the existing order of things and disclaim as false the story now being told about the present.

"The popularity of Star Trek can be traced to this function, that it tells a story which makes sense of the future and nonsense of the present. The frequent allusions to the backwardness and moral infancy of pre-Federation humankind is the necessary other side of the coin which tells the future glory of humankind."[7]

Within this framework we can also see the moral depravity of mankind as the flip side of the perfection in Glory after this time has passed.

Hostility Toward Religion

During the 1960's, science fiction writers, "dealt increasingly with the apocalyptic theme, and the end of time. Many referred to the Bible in passing."[8] But few had taken the time to research both Catholic and Protestant eschatology, or the Hebrew Prophets and historical end time views. As one would expect from those outside the faith, there is little deep understanding of Christian theology expressed in some science fiction works.

Coupled with a lack of knowledge, many authors have rebelled against the Jewish and Christian establishments, and attempted to satirize religion, but they usually do not know enough about it to do so efficiently.[9]

Others will offer what they consider to be true explanations of the real religious occurrences. Erich Von Daniken, author of Chariots of the Gods?, suggests that the earth has been visited by aliens, who took and active part in our development.

Many of the depictions of biblical events pointed out by Von Daniken in his book are inaccurate. For example, he says that the account of Noah mentioned flashing sparks around the Ark, and this was evidence of alien interaction. But, even with these obvious mistakes the book sold very well. Why? Von Daniken satisfied people's curiosity about how science and religion coincide.[10]

Another book, God drives a Flying Saucer by R. L. Dione, is similar to Von Daniken, and explains Jesus' healing and miracles by suggesting mass hypnotisms were performed on the people by aliens.[11] While this practice of explaining religious events in a quasi-naturalistic way is somewhat common, it is more likely that a science fiction reader will read stories which simply assume these events did not happen, or were man-made hoaxes.

Time travel in science fiction is interesting. By correcting his past mistakes, man can become "perfect." Man cannot transform man, only "tamper" with him. When time travelers change history, or force decisions and events to occur in a certain way, they have canceled out man's ability to decide. They cannot transform him, only channel him in another direction. God transforms "only those who are profoundly willing to be transformed: he determines our present by offering us his kind of future, which leaves us no peace until we decide differently."[12]

In Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, the main character is stoned to death after starting a new religion focuses primarily on sexual freedom. He is killed by a group of "Orthodox Christian fanatics."[13]

Several classic science fiction books have been adapted into movies. Sometimes the movie adaptations have more religious overtones than the original books. The book Planet of the Apes, for instance, has no trial to discern whether the Apes evolved from humans, instead a new scientific discovery allows apes to hear past memories of long dead humans from the brains of the living, primitive humans. But in the movie version there is a showdown between the religious and the scientific establishments. In the end, the religious elite must admit that they have known for some time that evolution is quite probable.

The Island of Dr. Moreau movie adaptation has the beasts of the island not only killing the Master who created them, but also warring with each other over who will be the new God. They had killed the God, and become gods, but who will be the chief God? In order to be the head God, the other gods must be dead. In a post-Christian era, the question of how the world can be without traditional religious concepts is posed and answered by science fiction.[14]

Friendship With Religion

Even though some science fiction writers have chosen to portray religion as an enemy or child's notion, there are many who see it as an ally in their story telling. "Religion plays a key role in humanity's past. Science fiction writers acknowledge this role, and assume that religion will also play a role in our future. Exactly what role? That's for the writers to determine as they plot their tales."[15]

C.S. Lewis writes, "To construct plausible and moving 'other worlds' you must draw on the only real 'other world' we know, that of the Spirit."[16] The realm of the spiritual can be a gold mine for literary images for science fiction writers.

"Scientists and Science Fiction writers are increasingly asking religious questions. Scientists are admitting that their great discoveries, like religious experience, came through inspiration, flashes of creative insight, and faithful imagination."[17] and "Science fiction seems to be asking the great questions of our time."[18] Academic philosophers are failing to stimulate imagination the way science fiction does. It is the possibility of the seemingly impossible found in the fictional science fiction works that allow writers, and readers, to explore the yet-to-be-known and never-to-be-known.

Ian Gibson, British science fiction writer, said that science fiction is, "able to create more powerful images and therefore can give us a clearer picture of the purpose which God has intended for us."19 In many stories there is a "covenant" aspect present, whether between two tribes, species, planets, or some other entity which can parallel the Covenant between man and God.[20] One can also find evidence of two mysteries being explored in science fiction: "The mystery of a God so unlike us that we cannot begin to fathom him; and the mystery of our kinship to him, constraining us to become more like him than we are."[21]

Many science fiction stories contain the hero-saves-the-world aspect which implies that individual actions are important.[22] Outlined in The American Monomyth, a book by Robert Jewett and John Shelton which seeks to "debunk" the myth of the super-hero in American society, is the case that most "saviours" in television, movies and literature are based on the life of Christ.[23]

It is readily apparent that science fiction writers willingly delve into the realm of religion and spirituality for plot structure and for unanswered questions. Just as a tension between science and religion in exists, so does a tension between science fiction and religious ideas. "Science fiction has preached emancipation but longs (at its core) for redemption; theology preaches redemption but settles (often) for emancipation."[24]

EXAMPLES OF RELIGIOUS IMAGERY IN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY

Religious Authors

Even with the tension that exists there have been several religious writers who have achieved notoriety within the ranks of science fiction authors. As far back as the early seventies, with writers like C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien entering the scene, theological science fiction had become a recognized category.[25]

C.S. Lewis is perhaps best known in the science fiction realm as the author of the Space Trilogy, made up of Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. The premise of the trilogy is that the earth's Oyarsa (the Satan character) has become "bent" and cut off communication with the other Oyarsa's of our solar system. Thulcandra (earth) has become known as the silent planet. The main character in the trilogy, Ransom, first travels to Malacandra (Mars), and then Prelandara (Venus). The first novel serves as a look at the difference in the "bent" people of earth and the rest of creation. The second novel finds Ransom traveling to Prelandara to help the Green Lady (an Eve character) resist the temptation she is put under.

However, the third, and largest novel in the trilogy takes place on earth. It is a very different story about the battle between good and evil in mankind. In an academic setting, Ransom, with the help of a revived Merlin the Magician, the Oyarsa of the other planets, and several human allies, defeats the evil plans of N.I.C.E.

Throughout the trilogy the Trinity is represented as Maleldil, and angels as eldils. The relationship between the characters and the Maleldil is analogous to the relationship between God and man. Those who serve Maleldil also enjoy his protection, those who do not may suffer his wrath. Maleldil wants everyone to leave the side of the "bent" and return to the righteous side. That returning is very specific.

It is not simply signing up to fight with Ransom, but requires more. One character wishes to go out on a dangerous mission, and is not allowed to because, "you have never put yourself under the protection of Maleldil."[26] The surprised character explains that he is perfectly willing to allow for the existence of a being called Maleldil who rules the eldils. He is told that he cannot go, and that is because simply believing in its existence is not accepting his "protection."

Lewis' most famous fantasy children's books, The Chronicles of Narnia, is also replete with images of a religious nature. The seven book series starts with The Magicians Nephew which includes a creation account of the land of Narnia and ends with The Last Battle which is a representation of the coming Armageddon. Throughout the series the reoccurring character of Aslan is a representation of the Messiah. In The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, probably the most famous of the series, Aslan willingly gives his life in place of another. He is beaten, jeered at, and killed by the White Witch, and later rises from the dead and slays the White Witch during a great battle.[27]

J.R.R.Tolkien is most well known for his Lord of the Rings trilogy which is a classic tale of good versus evil. Within this tale of a King's return are many religious themes. Known at first simply as the mysterious Strider and later as Aragorn, one character stands out. A simple man, who acts with honor and surprising grace. His is a story of a king who lives as a peasant until he ascends to claim his throne. He lives among people who have many legends about who the King is and how he will return. Those who knew him would never have thought he was the King. Yet, once he claimed his throne there was no doubt. The story is parallel to the King of King's sojourn on earth, among Jews who knew that the Messiah was coming but not exactly how or when. Even his own disciples could not understand the specifics of his coming kingdom.

Another subplot is especially interesting. Frodo, a hobbit who is fighting along with the side of good has a ring which allows the wearer to become invisible, to blend into the shadows. The catch is that the more the owner wears it, the more control the ring has over him. Those who have owned it before will do anything they can to retrieve it. Those who hold it will eventually give their lives to keep it. Ultimately the ring leads Frodo to the point of death, where he finally breaks free of it's power and destroys the ring. As it turns out, the ring is the power source for the evil ruler of Mordor who is fighting to keep the King from returning and restoring the land.

The ring is symbolic of the sin in our life. As fun and harmless as most sins seem at first, the more we indulge in them the more control they have over us. Sin ultimately leads to death, and it could be said that it is our sin, the rebellion against God's will for our lives, which gives Satan his power. As in the story, evil will be conquered, and the its power taken away when the King returns.

Orson Scott Card, a Mormon sci-fi author, virtually covers his novel with his beliefs. From humans attaining "godlike" stature through technology or nature, and shaping a "new" earth to the values and morals held dear by Mormons as well as other Christians. He seemlessly incorporates Mormon doctrine within a framework of science fiction without marring or trivializing the literary style. Contrary to most popular science fiction literature, faith and scientific advancement are married in Card's books, rather than bitter enemies.

In his four book series about the life of a boy who unknowingly commands a fleet that almost completely annihilates an entire race named Ender Wiggin, Card starts with a compelling tale of war, innocence, and fear of the unknown. Yet later in the series his Mormon faith begins to shine through as Ender Wiggin becomes a messianic figure for a two different sentient races, and his own children go on to become savors of a planet in their own right. This is very similar to the Mormon idea that humans can attain the status of a God.

Non-Religious Authors

"In 1941, Theodore Sturgeon wrote Microcosmic God, which placed a single man )one of those mad Scientist types) into the role of Creator." A scientist has a desire for knowledge that leads him to design and create a race of highly intelligent beings who could learn faster than humans. The scientist then cause all manner of life-threatening problems to occur, so he could learn from them. Very soon the new race out paced the human race. The scientist determined they were a danger, and the new race protected themselves behind an impenetrable sphere, leaving the humans to wonder what will happen next. Could this be a prophecy come to pass in our post-Christian society, where God has "plagued" humanity with problems, and humanity has shut Him out?[28]

Arthur C. Clarke, perhaps best known for his 2001 series, is adept at weaving religious themes into stories of science and technology. Another one of his most acclaimed works is the Rama series. The story, written with the help of Gentry Lee and found in four books, begins with a large cylindrical ship entering the solar system. A few earth scientists sent to investigate stay on board as it blasts off into the cosmos. As the story progresses through the novels, there are found to be three separate races, who interact with each other on a journey to the Node, where they learn about how and why life were was created. As explained by an alien caretaker:

"Most galaxies, including the Milky Way, have a single superstation, which we call the Prime Monitor, located somewhere near the center. The set of Prime Monitors was created by God at the same moment the universe began and then was deployed to learn as much as possible about the evolutionary process . The Nodes, the Carriers, and all the other engineering constructs you have seen were in turn designed by the Prime Monitor. The entire activity, including what has been going on since the first Rama spacecraft entered your solar system years ago, has as its objective the development of quantitative criteria, for use by the Creator, that will enable subsequent universes to conclude in glorious harmony, despite the chaotic tendencies of the natural laws." [29]

The universe is a huge evolutionary experiement, the care of which was delegated by God to other created beings. One of the most interesting sci-fi/religious subplots can be found in Hyperion, by Dan Simmons. A group of "pilgrims" is making its way to the Temple of the Shrike, an icon of a religion tied to temporal occurrences. Apparently the Shrike Time Tombs are moving back in time, causing tides of time in the area. The ruling Hegemony has decided that since the Tombs are about to open, and this is to be the last pilgrimage before access to the planet Hyperion is cut off. The book shares the stories of each pilgrim on the journey.

Father Hoyt, a pilgrim, tells his story by showing the journal of Father Paul Dure, a researcher among a group of humans called the Bikura who live beyond the great flame forests of Hyperion on the edge of a high cliff. The Bikura were considered a legend, but Dure had evidence that they existed, so he made the journey, and began to live among them, seeking to understand their ways. Apparently some Catholic missionaries had visited Hyperion, and the Bikura years before, but had not set up a diocese there.

There were lasting effects though. The Bikura murder his guides, but allow him to live as he "belongs to the cruciform" which is easily seen because he wears the shape, his crucifix necklace. Dure finds that those who belong to the cruciform can never experience the "true" death, they cannot die. To show this, the Bikura kill all who are not of the cruciform. The Bikura do not follow Christ, the Catholic church, or any other religious personage, they simply belong to the cruciform, and they seem to very simple minded people.

Dure sees that the Bikura daily make a trip over the cliff, and then return. He asks what happens there, and receives no answer. He asks what would happen if he were to follow them. He is told, "If you try to go down the cliff we will hold you down on the grass, take sharpened stones, cut your throat, and wait until your blood stops flowing and your heart stops beating." Dure stares in silence as his companion adds one more sentence, "And if you did it again, we would have to kill you again."

Dure discovers that Bikura who die simply reappear alive within a short period of time. The Bikura discover that Dure can remove his cross, and seize him. They accuse him of not being of the cruciform after all. Dure protests that he does follow the cross. One Bikura points out that he does carry a cross, but the rest agree that he is not of the cruciform. They are about to kill him when he announces that he has followed them over the cliff and worshipped at their altar, and wishes to be of the cruciform. There is much debate over what to do with him.

Eventually, they destroy his possessions, except his personal journal, and make him part of the cruciform. They take him to the base of the cliff, to the entrance of the Labyrinth which leads to the Shrike Time Tombs. The Shrike comes, and the Bikura place a cross around his neck. The next morning he finds that he cannot remove it, the cross shape even had the same DNA as he did. He cannot even cut it off.

The cruciform keeps the Bikura, and now Dure alive forever. As they die, they are remade again and again by the cruciform. It also does not allow them to leave the area. Dure makes several attempts to leave the Bikura, but is always stopped by blinding pain. Finally Dure decides to kill himself once and for all, and goes into the flame forests. he wedges himself in a tree and is killed by the lightning. The problem was that the Cruciform would not let him die. He kept being killed and revived, over and over.

He had been crucified again and again, and resurrected again and again, for seven years. Father Hoyt found him, and took his cruciform as his companions destroyed the Bikura village. So now Hoyt was seeking the Shrike for answers. In the sequel, The Fall of Hyperion, Simmons finishes the story of Father Dure. Hoyt is killed, and Dure regenerates out of his body from the cruciform, and plays a part in stopping the Shrike, or the Lord of Pain as he calls it.

Father Hoyt begins his story with the rather cryptic statement, "Sometimes there is a thin line separating orthodox zeal from apostacy."30 The Bikura could be thought of as an extreme "cult" which has strayed from the mainline faith. Dure, in his zeal to compromise for his life inadvertantly became a permanent member of that group.

In the vast universe of Star Trek numerous mentions and examples of religious icons and imagery can be found. In the movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock there is the image of death and resurrection. In one Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, the god-like character "Q" becomes human, but regains his "godhood" when he sacrifices himself to save a race from extinction.[31]

There is also some apparent animosity between God and man shown in the series. The character "Q" is considered to be omnipotent and omnipresent. His reality is unquestioned, but even with his power, the crew of the Federation Starship Enterprise show him nothing but irritation, anger, and contempt.[32] Could this be a reflection of the writer's opinion of God?

The series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine also has many religious elements. The space station orbits a planet that worships the Prophets, non-temporal energy beings who "inhabit" a stable space "wormhole" that serves as a passage from the Alpha Quadrant into the Delta Quadrant. The inhabitants of the planet have a prophecy about an Emissary of the Prophets who will come. He will be called by them and they will give him back his life. Into that role steps a StarFleet Captain assigned to the station.

The Federation thinks of the Prophets simply as wormhole aliens, but several episodes deal with these beings and their relationship with the planet and the station below. The religion around the wormhole-aliens is treated with respect, and sometimes shown to be not altogether untrue. Major Kera, and adherent to the religion and a member of the station's command crew, said in a episode entitle Emissary, "Faith, if you don't have it you can't understand it. If you have it, you need no explanation."

There is another major religious element in the series. An armed force from the Delta Quadrant has declared war on the Federation. This force, the Dominion, is ruled by a species of shape-shifters who can morph into any shape or creature. This species is called the Founders, and they have genetically created two aliens races to serve them. One is a race of warriors who are addicted to a drug that the Founders use to keep them in control. The second is a race with mild telepathic powers who are used to mind the affairs of the Founders. Both races believe the Founders are gods. They are in fact their creators. Members of both races would rather die than harm a Founder, and would die at any Founders whim.

The series "Star Trek Voyager routinely embraces New Age religions and even the paganistic animism of tribal native Americans. Not only is it respectful of such religions, it ascribes actual power to shamans and initiates."[33] This is a reflection of society's shift toward exploring the unrestricted spirituality of nature religions and New Age concepts.

The movie Alien is a sci-fi suspense classic. "As the title of the film implies, the encounter with otherness, with radical deviation, is Alien''s prime thematic focus."34 Curiosity ultimately caused the destruction of the crew with the exception of the main character, Ripley. Kane, the infected crew member, was too curious about the eggs, and ended up dead. The science officer and captain both ignored ship's procedures to allow a possible contagion into the main part of the ship. The "Company" wanted the alien brought home for research purposes. However, the alien was not a specimen suitable for scientific analysis or domestication, but was a "humbling product of nature."35 The interest in the alien is understandable for its simplistic superiority, and almost invulnerability.36 Is this depiction of "otherness" the writer's way of exploring who God may be?

In George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy, the image of the non-techincal, non-scientific overcoming technological superior forces can be seen. Luke Skywalker turns off his guidance system and relies on the "Force" to help him destroy the Death Star. Primitive Ewoks overwhelm the Empirical StormTroopers.37 Again, the reflection of the tension between science and faith appears.

Don Siegel's 1956 version of Invasion of The Body Snatchers is a "vivid image of soulless conformity, a warning to those who take their own human development lightly, a close parallel to those who would ignore the image of God found within them."[38]

Superman was chosen the best science fiction film of 1978. "The imagery of Superman is unabashedly Christian down to the incarnational form of 'mild mannered reporter, Clark Kent.' He is a messianic symbol, as valid for our time as Charlemagne or Sir Gajahad were in the medieval period." and "Superman reintroduces the concept of the hero into our popular vocabulary."[39]

CONCLUSION

Science fiction and religion have an interplay between them. With religion looking to the works of science fiction to see the ideas of both non-religious and religious writers about matters of philosophical and theological significance, and science fiction looking to the religious to see what is left to answer and what images strike at the heart of humanity.

Science fiction adopts these images for the utility of creating interest in their story line, but in doing so they delve into themes of religious importance. Sometimes their products mock or offend the religious, but they also pose and, at times, answer deeper questions.

"We should hope that the metaphysical and theological concerns underlying this... category find serious response from those of us who find both identity and hope for the future in Jesus Christ."[40]

© copyright 2001, Scott Link


ENDNOTES

1 Ready, Karen and Rottensteiner, Franz.Other Worlds, Otherworldliness: Science Fiction and Religion," Christian Century 90 (December 5, 1973) : 1195.

2 Ibid., 1193.

3 Hexham, Irving. "Science Fiction, Christianity, and the Technic Civilization, "Word & World 4 (Winter 1984) : 36.

4 Ready, Karen et al. 1192.

5 Leggett, Paul. "Science Fiction Films: A Cast of Metaphysical Characters," Christianity Today 24 (March 21, 1980) : 32.

6 Kreuziger, Frederick A. The Religion of Science Fiction. (Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1986.) 160.

7 Ibid., 26.

8 Lantero, Erminie Green Huntress. "What is Time: More Theological Aspects of Science Fiction," Religion in Life. 40 No. 3 (Autumn 1971) : 424.

9 Ibid., 243.

10 Peters, Ted. "Chariots, UFO's and the Mystery of God," Christian Century 91 (May 22, 1974) : 562.

11 Ibid.

12 Lantero, Erminie Green Huntress. 435.

13 Morth, Ingo. "Elements of Religious Meaning in Science Fiction Literature," Social Compass 34, no.1 (1987) : 93.

14 Ibid.

15 Forney, Rahn. When God Plays a Role in Science Fiction [Newspaper on-line] (Lebanon Daily News, 1996. accessed November 16, 1998.) available from http://www.leba.net/lebnews/shadow/960520.html; Internet.

16 Kreuziger, Frederick A. Apocalypse and Science Fiction: A Dialectic of Religious and Secular Soteriologies. (Chico, CA: Scholar Press, 1982.) 127.

17 Rossman, Parker. "The Theology of Imagination: Science, Science Fiction, and Religion," Witness . 72 (October 1989) : 13.

18 Ibid., 12.

19 Ibid., 13.

20 Lantero, Erminie Green Huntress. "What is Man: Theological Aspects of Contemporary Science Fiction," Religion in Life 38 No. 2 (Summer 1969) : 246.

21 Ibid., 255.

22 Morth, Ingo. 92.

23 Kreuziger, Frederick A. Apocalypse and Science Fiction: A Dialectic of relgious and Secular Soteriologies. (Chico, CA: Scholar Press, 1982.) 188.

24 Ibid., 227.

25 Lantero, Erminie Green Huntress. "What is Time: More Theological Aspects of Science Fiction," Religion in Life. 40 No. 3 (Autumn 1971) : 423.

26 Lewis, C.S. That Hideous Strength. (New York: Collier Books, 1946.) 225.

27 Kilby, Clyde S.The Christian World of C.S. Lewis. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,. 1964. ) 124.

28 Forney, Rahn. When God Plays a Role in Science Fiction [Newspaper on-line] (Lebanon Daily News, 1996. accessed November 16, 1998.) available from http://www.leba.net/lebnews/shadow/960520.html; Internet.

29 Clarke, Arthur C. and Gentry Lee. Rama Revealed. (New York: Bantam Books, 1994.) 555.

30 Simmons, Dan.Hyperion. (New York: Bantam Books, 1989.) 25.

31 Schembrie, Joe. Science Fiction as Religion (The Cydonia Update-November 2, 1997. accessed November 16, 1998.); available from http:// cybooks.com/up110297.htm; Internet.

32 Ibid.

33 Ibid.

34 Schneider, Kirk J. Horror and The Holy: Wisdom-Teachings of the Monster Tale. (Chicago: Open Court, 1993.) 95.

35 Ibid., 97.

36 Ibid., 96.

37 Hexham, Irving. "Science Fiction, Christianity, and the Technic Civilzation,"Word & World 4 (Winter 1984) : 35.

38 Leggett, Paul. 33.

39 Ibid.

40 Ibid.