InterVarsity Press

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Scientific Mythologies

How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs

By James A. Herrick

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What does science have to do with science fiction? What does science fiction have to do with scientists? What does religion have to do with science and science fiction?

In the spiritual vacuum of our post-Christian West, new mythologies continually arise. The sources of much religious speculation, however, may be surprising. Author James Herrick directs our attention to a wide range of scientists, filmmakers, science fiction writers and religious philosophers and discovers there the role that science and science fiction have played in such mythmaking.

From scientists such as Francis Bacon, Francis Crick, Carl Sagan and Freeman Dyson, to filmmakers such as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, to science fiction writers such as Olaf Stapledon, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, Herrick finds a curious collusion of science with science fiction for promoting and justifying alternative spiritualities. The rise of these new mythologies, he argues, is no longer a curiosity at the edge of Western culture. This alchemy is catalyzing a religious vision of new gods, a new humanity, and alien races with superior intelligence and secret knowledge. This new mythology overshadows the realms of politics, science and religion.

Should we follow such visions? Does science endorse these mythologies? Are we being offered a spirituality superior to the Judeo-Christian tradition? This book will help you decide.

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