In Space as on Earth

A thoughtful reflection on religion in Star Trek. While Humans aren’t depicted as participating in any form of organized religion (there is a reference to a Christmas party here, a nod to monotheism there), the series also includes a distrust of science and technology, regularly depicting mad scientists, societies over-dependent on technology, etc.) that insists there is more to humanity than science and logic and knowledge can satisfy.

20130712-004039.jpgThere are plenty of episodes in the long franchise history in which some figure appears as divine savior, only to be rebuffed, but if is this is anti-religion, then so is the Hebraic prophets’ rejection of idols. “Star Trek” certainly doesn’t affirm the Christian assertion of Christ as savior, yet these words from Gaudium et Spes are as trenchant in space as they are on earth. “All the endeavors of technology, though useful in the extreme, cannot calm our anxiety; for prolongation of biological life is unable to satisfy that desire for higher life which is inescapably lodged in our breasts” (no. 18). Human beings were seekers long before we entered space, and “Star Trek”’s ongoing search for new worlds suggests that the struggle for a life beyond evil remains the final frontier. —America Magazine.


4 thoughts on “In Space as on Earth

    • Yes, but only in the very last scene. That was something happening on another planet, rather than a depiction of 23rd century Earth culture, so I would still consider that just a nod.

      There is also a chapel on the original series Enterprise, where if I remember correctly we see a crew member kneeling after her husband has been killed.

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