Jesus in science fiction
I remember reading Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land years ago as a pre-teen, and noticing the obvious Christian messianic theme that the book conveyed. Then I read Frank Herbert’s Dune, and noticed the same thing. Movies too: Superman, Star Wars, The Matrix, Batman, they are retelling the Gospels through science fiction.
I’ve been meaning to write an article on the subject of Christian themes in science fiction for a while now, but Benjamin Plotinsky of City Journal has beat me to it. Here the opening paragraph:
There is a young man, different from other young men. Ancient prophecies foretell his coming, and he performs miraculous feats. Eventually, confronted by his enemies, he must sacrifice his own life—an act that saves mankind from calamity—but in a mystery as great as that of his origin, he is reborn, to preside in glory over a world redeemed. Tell this story to one of the world’s 2 billion Christians, and he’ll recognize it instantly. Tell it to a science-fiction and fantasy fan, and he’ll ask why you’re making minor alterations to the plot of The Matrix or Superman Returns. For reasons that have as much to do with global politics as with our cultural moment, some of this generation’s most successful sci-fi and fantasy movie franchises follow an essentially Christian plotline.
I suggest you check out the 4000 word article, if you have any interest at all in this geeky topic. It would take a book to properly examine this theme, but Plotinsky provides a thoughtful primer.