REL 212: Science Fiction and Religion

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3

This course explores and reflects on the presence of religions and religious themes in science fiction films and television shows. Students will also discuss the ethics of robots and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI). This course explores the presence of religious themes such as the messianic hero, immortality, free will and determinism, prophecy, evil, mysticism, and apocalypse in films and tv shows including Star Trek, Star Wars, the Matrix, I Robot, Avatar, Superman, and more.

Course Outcomes
  • Identify the presence of the major religious motifs in science fiction films and television shows.
  • Analyze the hero archetype, the monomyth, in religious literature and science fiction media.
  • Investigate the ways in which science fiction constitutes contemporary religious myth-making.
  • Examine the influence and impact that artificial intelligence will have on society.