Religious Studies | Star Trek and Religion
R222 | 20835 | Weaver


We will examine some of the ways in which religion appears in the
Star Trek cluster (Original Series, Next Generation, and Voyager in
particular).  The action of this popular science-fiction series is
set in the future, but the ideas and conflicts come from past and
present debates in the modern world.  We will explore two main lines
of “religious” thought: the rejection of mainline religion in favor
or secular humanism and the tentative embrace of newer forms of
spirituality informed by modern physics and cosmology. Notice the
difference here between mainline or organized religion on the one
hand, and spirituality on the other.

Requirements: Grades will be based on several things all of which
work together:
--weekly quizzes based on readings and ability to relate them to
episodes
--a short “term paper” with specific steps you must complete
--consultation with professor
--turning in paper in good shape and on time
--a cumulative final examination
--Attendance is  expected/absence will be counted against you.

We meet twice/week:  Lecture on the first day of the week (you will
have reading assignments that must be done by then) and the second
day we do two things:  watch an episode (related to reading) and
have a 15-minute quiz.

Required Texts:
Thomas Richards, The Meaning of Star Trek (Doubleday 1997)
WEEKLY READING assignments will be available on e-reserve.

There is no mid-term exam in this course.
Syllabus, assignments, announcements etc. will all be posted on On-
Course.