Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.

5/18/2003

The Religion Matrix

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Is Neo the Messiah?

I wrote about this on my other site, Diary of a Network Geek, but it’s worth mentioning again. The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting article about religion in science-fiction, especially the Matrix movies. It’s interesting to me because I’ve seen similar connections myself for a long time. Back in college, I wrote a paper about how similar the Luke Skywalker character was to the archtypeal hero from myth. It’s a short hop from that to the archtype of the messiah.
I think there’s plenty of room for religion in fantasy and science-fiction. In fact, I think it’s essential that it gets included more often. Why? Well, because it’s an important part of human interaction and has been for a very long time. Think about how many wars were justified through religion. How often has science been hindered, or helped, by religion? If nothing else, religion can give us our regular rituals and holidays. Sure, Christmas and Easter are often very secular holidays now, but they are still based on religion.
And, religion can be a great motivator for characters. Crusaders and missionaries both can be very interesting characters to follow. Also, people trying to escape religious persecution can drive plot. Even some one seeking enlightenment can be an interesting story, if told right.

My point is this, religion is a part of our everyday life in one way or another and as an author, I would be foolish to overlook the possibilities it presents me. It’s not something I’ve seen too much of in literature for quite some time. I wonder why?

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