Item description for The Gospel according to Science Fiction: From the Twilight Zone to the Final Frontier (Gospel According to) by Gabriel McKee...
Overview In this engaging book, McKee explores the inherent theological nature of science fiction, organizing chapters around theological themes and using illustrations from Isaac Asimov and H.G. Wells, and shows such as "Star Trek" and "The Twlight Zone" to show how science fiction shapes how people think of God.
In this thorough and engaging book, Gabriel McKee explores the inherent theological nature of science fiction, using illustrations from television shows, literature, and films. Science fiction, he believes, helps us understand not only who we are but who we will become. McKee organizes his chapters around theological themes, using illustrations from authors such as Isaac Asimov and H. G. Wells, television shows such as "Star Trek" and "The Twilight Zone," and films such as "The Matrix" and "Star Wars." With its extensive bibliography and index, this is a book that all serious science fiction fans--not just those with a theological interest--will appreciate.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Gospel according to Science Fiction: From the Twilight Zone to the Final Frontier (Gospel According to) by Gabriel McKee has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 11/13/2006 page 54
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.84" Width: 5.41" Height: 0.72" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Jan 2, 2007
Publisher PRESBYTERIAN PUBLISHING #86
Series Gospel According to
ISBN 0664229018 ISBN13 9780664229016
Availability 54 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 27, 2017 04:34.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Gospel according to Science Fiction: From the Twilight Zone to the Final Frontier?
An Excellent History of Science Fiction's Take on all Things Religious Sep 5, 2009
Gabriel McKee sets out to explore how science fiction views theological issues, such as the nature of God, creation, souls, sin, and the afterlife, through how these have been portrayed in science fiction novels, television and film. Through the book the author uses his depth of science fiction knowledge to illustrate the connections that he has found between science fiction and religion. McKee uses illustrations from mainstream science fiction, like Battlestar Galactica (2003), Star Trek, Star Wars, the Matrix and the Twilight Zone, as well as science fiction that hardcore students of the genre will appreciate, like, Bova, Bradbury, Dick, Herbert, Heinlein, Silverberg and Vonnegut.
From the moment that I started reading McKee had me hooked. Admittedly, I am a big science fiction fan. Not just film either. My good friend Alvaro Zinos-Amaro made certain of this by providing a gift of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929-1964, which opened my eyes to the progress that science fiction has made through the years and also to the way that science fiction speaks to the zeitgeist.
Today, we are inundated by science fiction focused on the end of the world because we are worried about it. I am convinced that a student of history could read the science fiction of the day and get a better understanding of the concerns of the generation that they study than by using university history texts.
In the same way that science fiction is focused on the same things that all people are, it is only natural that we find science fiction to be preoccupied with religion. What more important question can there be than, "Is there a God?" Followed closely behind by, "If so what or who is it?" These are the starting points of any human's quest to find purpose. "Why am I here?" "How do I live?" or even, "Am I real?"
McKee's book is an enjoyable lesson in the history of science fiction that deals with religion. Fans of science fiction and people of faith will undoubtably enjoy this book immensly as I did.
Enthralling Theological Treatise Jun 5, 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. McKee seems to have taken all of his theology training, as well as thousands of hours of reading and viewing SciFi, to come up with a magnum opus. I kept on expecting him to leave out some major or theologically significant minor work of science fiction, but he always came through. McKee helpfully breaks down science fiction into various theological categories, from the nature of God to the afterlife to the presence of a soul, and looks through many examples in-depth to gain an understanding of how the genre as a whole treats theology. This is not a simple, dry list, but rather McKee integrates each movie and book into the discussion, weighing the treatment of the theology as well as the new ideas that the work bring to the table.
Though he obviously comes from a Christian standpoint, he is very balanced in his treatment, looking positively at pro-theistic and anti-theistic standpoints, as well as works embracing Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu perspectives. You will never again be able to look at the science fiction genre as anti-religious, or even irreligious. (One juicy tidbit is McKee's very convincing revelation that science fiction is simply the modern aspect of the ancient apocalyptic religious genre.) The primary drawback of this book is that I now have a whole host of new books to read, even though I decided to peruse only about 5% of the books mentioned.
A Rare Reflection on Spiritual Connections within Science Fiction May 13, 2009
Writing this review in 2009, when it's clear that science fiction dominates American popular culture, I'm surprised we haven't had more solid book-length explorations of the genre from a biblical perspective. To be sure, Gabriel McKee's reflection isn't a traditional "Bible study" format. There have been a number of very popular books and entire sets of multimedia educational materials that go back and forth from video to specific biblical lessons. This is not that book.
But as the "Star Trek" origins movie opened this year, I searched far and wide for a good spiritual analysis of the series that, as a journalist, I could share with my own readers. I wound up turning to Gabriel's book and even interviewing Gabriel for our "Star Trek" coverage. If you're specifically a Trekkie, though, I should stress-this is a book about the whole genre and the TV series is only one thread that runs through the book.
The volume is very helpful in lifting up specific examples out of a wide variety of sci-fi works, then weaving together the themes into provocative back-and-forth discussions of spiritual principles. I recommend it highly. And partly I'm saying this because Gabriel McKee's analysis here is rare in its scope. You'll find yourself wanting to go back and see a lot of movies, watch some old TV and re-read a bunch of good sci-fi novels.
Interesting, insightful, and well-researched Mar 3, 2008
A groundbreaking and illuminating book. McKee's main thesis is that science fiction is inherently religious in nature, because it deals with the big-picture issues of human existence: What does it mean to be human? What is the nature of the universe? Where did we come from and where are we going? SF at its core is speculative; it speculates about possible futures, whether in the form of dystopias for us to avoid, utopias for us to strive for, or bizarre worlds that drive us to contemplate the deep issues of existence. At the same time, these visions of the future serve as commentaries and warnings about where we seem to be heading.
McKee basically sets up his thesis that SF deals with religious themes and then spends the majority of the book doing brief summaries of various novels, short stories, and films, tracing the answers each story offers to the big questions. The book is helpfully structured around systematic theological categories: God, Creation, the Soul, Free Will, Evil, Salvation, etc. Most of it is analysis of SF stories, with (mercifully) a minimal amount of McKee's own theological views, which tend toward the theologically liberal. The analysis is usually insightful, though his conclusion that with the help of SF we can "forge the faith of the future" betrays a naive view of faith as something we create. Overall, a fascinating read that helps one understand and appreciate more deeply a genre that is at the forefront of our culture's grappling with the big philosophical and spiritual issues.
Short review but I enjoyed this book Dec 17, 2007
As both an author and reader of fiction I was impressed with (the Gospel According to Science Fiction). I guess I have always enjoyed books that could hold my attention and make me think at the same time. I recommend this book. Tommy Taylor Author - The Second Virgin Birth