Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Life, the Universe & Everything Symposium Presentation
I will be presenting a paper at the Life, the Universe, and Everything (LTUE): The Marion K. "Doc" Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy. The symposium will be held February 19-21 on the campus of Brigham Young University. My paper is titled "Cinefantastique to Theofantastique: Fantastic Cinema and Interreligious Dialogue." In it I will discuss the literature and cinema of the fantastic that provides a sense of wonder and entertainment, but also frequently serves as a place for the exploration of the transcendent. Mormons recognize this in the many science fiction writers who are Latter-day Saints, while evangelicals tend to look to C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as patron saints of fantastic literature. I will suggest that given science fiction's ability to provide a sense of distance between controversial subject matter and the audience, and John Lyden's notion that film often performs a religious function in Western culture, that science fiction and fantasy cinema should be considered as a venue and medium for interreligious dialogue. The schedule for LTUE can be viewed here.