Can Jesus Become Your New SF Hero?

Illustration for article titled Can Jesus Become Your New SF Hero?

If science and religion are natural enemies, then what about science fiction and Christianity? A new Christian film festival plans to look at how to approach the genre... and maybe co-opt it a little, too.

The three-day Symposium on Science Fiction and Christian Filmmaking - running January 5th through the 7th in San Antonio, Texas - will be held at the Christian Filmmakers Academy, which describes itself as "a technical bootcamp for aspiring culture-changers." According to CFA founder Doug Phillips, this symposium is happening because certain irresponsible people have been abusing the genre's power:

In 2008, Sci-Fi rocketed out of the basement to become a sci-cult phenomenon that is significant to the cultural history of the United States, [a]nd movies are just the tip of the rocket. Fictional science in the billion-dollar video gaming, computer gaming, comic book and cable TV world is changing the thinking of an entire generation.... The popular genre has been responsible for persuading American thrill-and-chill-seekers that fictional speculation is reality — especially in regard to the creation of the universe, life on earth, and the 'certainty' of extraterrestrial life.


With that much power available, it's only natural that the Christians would like a slice, as the mission statement for the symposium demonstrates:

The "Symposium on Science Fiction and Christian Filmmaking" will focus on the theology of Science Fiction, analyzing how the worldview conveyed through Sci-Fi films has shaped cultural priorities... [exploring] ways Christian filmmakers can reestablish responsibility in the genre and more carefully and truthfully examine the topics of Creation, time and eternity, the human soul, and the grand potential of science and technology.

Personally, I'm hoping that this means we can see more responsible sci-fi in future. Like the truthful Left Behind series. Or the endlessly responsible examination into the human soul known as Armageddon Now.

Filmmakers Academy to Explore Science Fiction Movie Phenomenon [Christian News Wire]


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Here we go.

There have been some sci-fi books I've read that had a spiritual bent to them. One in particular is escaping me, however, about an encounter with an alien race on a newly discovered planet. There is a priest or something on the mission who has a very important role, and there is also some kind of unexpected and completely horrific massacre from the aliens, who are somewhat angelic...

Didn't "Speaker for the Dead" (which seems to be the red-headed stepchild of the recent Ender resurgence, for all I've heard it discussed) also lean heavily on belief and religion, or is my over-worked sci-fi rolodex memory making things up?

Anyone else have religious sci-fi novels of note they know about?