The Five That Remain

Versions of the Messianic in Battlestar Galactica


  • Jay Twomey University of Cincinnati



Battlestar Galactica, messianism, Benjamin, Agamben


The re-imagined television series Battlestar Galactica engages issues of contemporary significance throughout its four-season run. This paper, drawing upon Benjamin, Derrida, Agamben and other theorists, explores a number of significant messianic motifs and messiah figures (or groups of figures) in the series. Although each instance of the messianic moves Battlestar Galactica’s narrative forward, the consistency with which the series undermines any and all messianic pretensions provides an intriguing critical opportunity to reflect upon the theo-political. The series clearly seems to take issue with the messianic discourse of the Bush years. But reading the insufficiency of its messianic moments in theoretical terms may also allow for a nuanced critique of theory’s recent fascination with the idea of the messianic itself.

Author Biography

Jay Twomey, University of Cincinnati

Jay Twomey is Associate Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati. He is the author of The Pastoral Epistles Through the Centuries (Blackwell 2009).


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How to Cite

Twomey, J. (2010). The Five That Remain: Versions of the Messianic in Battlestar Galactica. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 3(2-3), 162–185.