Sacred Space: The Quest for Transcendence in Science Fiction Film and Television


To infinity and beyond, SciFi's missions to find humanity's great purpose

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To infinity and beyond, SciFi's missions to find humanity's great purpose

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cowan, a professor of religious studies at Renison University College, University of Waterloo, has investigated the intersections of religion and culture in previous books (Sacred Terror). He now turns an academic eye to science fiction movies and TV and what the genre reveals about human ideas of transcendence, examining such shows as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the recently remade Battlestar Galactica alongside such movies as Contact and Blade Runner. While some concepts are treated more harshly than others--Cowan critiques several Christian films for their anthropocentric transcendent ideals--the author provides an intriguing and entertaining look into some of the questions that science fiction raises, especially what it means to be human, and sometimes more than human. Robots may be a common enemy in science fiction, but to Cowan, they also represent our fears, and hopes, of going beyond natural and social limits. While possibly better suited to a classroom than a general reader's bookshelf, even casual Trekkies and sci-fi buffs will be engaged by Cowan's interpretations and possibilities. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602582385
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/2010
  • Pages: 326
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas E. Cowan is Professor of Religious Studies, Renison University College, University of Waterloo. His most recent publications include Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen; Cyberhenge: Modern Pagans on the Internet; and Religion Online: Finding Faith on the Internet. He lives in Waterloo, Ontario.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part I Science Fiction and the Quest for Transcendence

1 The Brightness against the Black 3

2 Pinocchio's Galaxy: Science Fiction and the Question of Transcendence 35

3 First Contact: Human Exceptionalism in the Calculus of Transcendence 71

4 "Intellects Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic": The War of the Worlds and the Transcendence of Modernity 105

Part II Science Fiction and the Modes of Transcendence

5 Heeding the Prophets' Call: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 141

6 The von Däniken Paradox: Stargate SG-I 171

7 All Alone in the Night: Babylon 5 197

8 So Say We All: Battlestar Galactica 225

9 The Truth Is Out There: Transcendence and the Neverending Quest 261

Filmography 275

Bibliography 285

Index 309

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