Science Fiction and the Ideological Definition of Religion


  • Jonathan Tuckett Independent Researcher



Science Fiction, Ideology, Phenomenology, Religion


According to William Sims Bainbridge science fiction serves an ideological purpose. In this paper I take this premise and re-frame it in the terms of philosophical phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler to argue that science fiction promotes a “science” ideology. Specifically, it promotes a particular mode of naturalization: making the person “fit” within their life-world. It does this by using the perceived culture war between “science” and “religion” as a framing device to throw the former into sharper contrast. Contra Stephen Hrotic, I argue the changing perceptions of religion in science fiction have not become more tolerant but reflect changes in the “scientific” mode of naturalization. To demonstrate this I will look at two key case studies: James Blish’s A Case of Conscience and Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow


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How to Cite

Tuckett, J. (2017). Science Fiction and the Ideological Definition of Religion. Implicit Religion, 19(4), 525–551.