Thursday, July 24, 2008

Is Sci Fi Protestant, Fantasy Catholic?

I picked this up over at OF Blog of the Fallen - -

He was talking about Adam Roberts' The History of Science Fiction (a book I have not read) .

According to the blog, the book deals with the religious influences on SF and Fantasy in terms of European and American writings).

"Roberts postulates that the Protestant Reformation, with its emphasis on a more empirical approach to matters of faith (and ultimately of life) created a climate more favorable to the eventual development of science fiction. However, for Catholics, there was a more mystical, backwards-looking approach that favored a more static society, elements that later were featured in tales by Catholic authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K. Chesterton, among others.

"As I said, such a brief sketch risks distorting Roberts' argument, but I think it can suffice to serve as a ground of debate. Are the elements most commonly associated with SF to be found more often in places where the Protestant Reformation took place? Are there really deep connections between fantasy fiction and Catholicism? And what about the other groups, such as the Jews, Eastern Orthodox, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.?"

In another piece about the book, Roberts apparently says the boundaries break down in the 20th Century.

The underlying premise seems interesting, but not having read the book I can't say how far Roberts takes it. Is fantasy more Catholic friendly? Or are Catholics more open to fantasy?

And what might GK have to say?


Trubador said...

I find much sci-fi to be secular, agnostic or atheistic rather than Christian (Protestant or Catholic).

Dad29 said...

Well, GKC certainly enjoyed elfland.

And I think he would like Dark Knight, too.