By Paul J. Nahin
Can a working laptop or computer have a soul? Are faith and technology jointly unique? Is there quite the sort of factor as loose will? if you happen to may well time go back and forth to go to Jesus, may you (and should still you)? for centuries, philosophers, scientists, and technological know-how fiction writers have meditated those questions and lots of more.
In Holy Sci-Fi!, renowned author Paul Nahin explores the fertile and occasionally uneasy courting among technological know-how fiction and faith. With a scope spanning the historical past of faith, philosophy, and literature, Nahin follows spiritual subject matters in technology fiction from Feynman to Foucault, and from Asimov to Aristotle.
An fascinating trip via well known and well-loved books and tales, Holy Sci-Fi! exhibits how sci-fi has trained humanity's attitudes in the direction of our faiths, our destiny, and ourselves.
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Extra resources for Holy Sci-Fi!: Where Science Fiction and Religion Intersect (Science and Fiction)
85. Madden’s work, more a satire than it is SF, was published in 1733. Madden was an Irish Anglican clergyman. 7 Thomas A. Hanzo, “The Past of Science Fiction,” in Bridges to Science Fiction (George E. , editors), Southern Illinois University Press 1980, p. 132. 8 Just to name one; Isaac Asimov’s beautiful 1958 short story “The Ugly Little Boy,” the tale of a young Neanderthal boy plucked out of his time by present-day time machine experimenters. After studying their subject for a lengthy time, they grow weary of him and decide to send him back to the remote past, where he has no chance for a normal life and to the virtually certain fate of a quick, brutal death.
It’s a bit like the story of the fellow who claims to have the very axe his grandfather used a hundred years ago: the handle has been replaced only three times and the blade only twice! An example of what I am getting at here can be found in the second volume of Isaac Asimov’s autobiography,19 in which he writes of an experience he had after writing his well-known Guide to the Bible. While on a visit with a friend to Brandeis University near Boston, Massachusetts, to view a collection of old Bibles, Asimov writes “At one point we were looking at a Jewish Bible published in Spain before the expulsion of the Jews.
This argument (a wrong-headed, indeed ludicrous one) has been speciﬁcally addressed by at least three scholars of both genres, two of them academics and the third a writer. The writer, Robert Silverberg (born 1935), wrote the following in an insightful (as well as often hilarious) 1971 essay6: “The problem that arises when you try to regard science ﬁction as adult literature is that it’s doubly removed from our ‘real’ concerns. Ordinary mainstream ﬁction, your Faulkner and Dostoevsky and Hemingway, is by deﬁnition madeup stuff—the ﬁrst remove.