Star Trek and Sacred Ground: Explorations of Star Trek, Religion, and American Culture
Drawing on a number of methodologies and disciplinary perspectives, this book boldly goes where none has gone before by focusing on the interplay between Star Trek, religion, and American culture as revealed in the four different Trek television series, and the major motion pictures as well. Explored from a Trek perspective are the portrayal and treatment of religion; the religious and mythic elements; the ritual aspects of the fan following; and the relationship between religion and other issues of contemporary concern.
Divided into three sections, this detailed study of religion, myth, and ritual in the Star Trek context extends the boundaries of the traditional categories of religious studies, and explores the process of the (re)creation of culture. The first section explores the ways in which religion has primarily been understood in the Star Trek franchise in relationship to science, technology, scientism, and secular humanism. What do Star Trek and its creator Gene Roddenberry have to say about religion, and what does this reveal about changing American perceptions about the role, value, and place of religion in everyday life? Section Two examines the mythic power and appeal of Star Trek, and highlights the mythic and symbolic parallels between the series story lines and themes taken from both western religious tradition and the scientific and technological components of contemporary North American Society. In the final section, contributors discuss the mythic and ritual aspects of Star Trek fandom. How have Star Trek fans found meaning and value in the television programs, and how do they express that meaning in their lives?
Contributors include Robert Asa, Michael Jindra, Larry Kreitzer, Jeffrey S. Lamp, Peter Linford, Ian Maher, Anne Pearson, Gregory Peterson, and Jon Wagner.
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From Thwarted Gods to Reclaimed Mystery?
The Next Generation
Religious and Mythic Themes
Religion and Ritual in Fandom
TV Episodes and Movies Cited
List of Contributors
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5tar Tiek alien American Apollo appear Bajoran become biblical Borg Captain Chakotay character Christ Christian communitas cultural death Deep Space deﬁned deﬁnition director diversity Emissary Enterprise crew episode faith fan club fandom Federation ﬁlm ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁrst Gene Roddenberry Genesis planet human ideal IDIC immortal inﬁnite interpretation Janeway Jesus Jesus Seminar Kahless Kira Kirk Kirk’s Klingon Les Landau liminoid lives McCoy meaning Michael Piller Mintakans moral Mourns for Adonais myth narrative ofﬁcer original series philosophy Picard pilgrimage portrayed Prime Directive prophecy Prophets rational religion religious belief resurrection ritual Roddenberry’s vision role sacriﬁce science ﬁction scientiﬁc Search for Spock secular signiﬁcant Sisko social spiritual Spock Star Eek Star Tick Star Trek Star Trek fans Star Trek universe Star Yiek Starfleet story suggests Sybok Teleplay television theme theological tion TNG’s traditional Trek’s Turner V-ger Voyager Vulcan Worf worldview wormhole Wrath of Khan Ziek