Faith in fantasy on Imaginary Worlds
October 31, 2018
I'm a relatively new listener to Imaginary Worlds, a podcast about science fiction and speculative fiction and fantasy. But I've become a fan in recent weeks, which is especially delightful because I had the opportunity to be a guest on the podcast this week.
The latest episode -- episode 104 -- is a roundtable discussion featuring me, Alwaez Hussein Rashid (whom I've known for many years -- we first met in early blogging years, when he was posting at a blog called Islamicate), and Unitarian Universalist Minister Oscar Sinclair. Here's the description of the episode:
Science fiction has not always been compatible with religion -- in fact many futuristic settings imagine no religion at all. But sci-fi and fantasy have long fascinated people of different faiths because the genres wrestle with the big questions of life. I moderated a discussion between Minister Oscar Sinclair, Rabbi Rachel Barenblat and Alwaez Hussein Rashid about why SF worlds intrigue and inspire them.
We talk about the stories that inspire us, religion in SFF worlds and in our own, faith and narrative, the big questions that SFF and theology both invite us to pose, and so much more. I get to give shout-outs to some of the works I've loved recently, including Becky Chambers' Wayfarers books (which imagine some beautiful religious rituals, especially in the third book), and Rihanna Emyrys' gorgeous short story Seven Commentaries On An Imperfect Land -- and to ponder theological questions like, is humanity on a trajectory toward redemption (and what does that even mean)?
The episode is about half an hour long. You can listen at the podcast webpage (where there's also a list of all of the books and shows and movies and sources that we reference) or on soundcloud. I'm deeply grateful to Eric Selinsky for including me, and to my fellow panelists for a fabulous conversation!