Holy Sci-Fi!: Where Science Fiction and Religion Intersect

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Springer Science & Business Media, Apr 9, 2014 - Science - 224 pages

Can a computer have a soul? Are religion and science mutually exclusive? Is there really such a thing as free will? If you could time travel to visit Jesus, would you (and should you)? For hundreds of years, philosophers, scientists and science fiction writers have pondered these questions and many more.

In Holy Sci-Fi!, popular writer Paul Nahin explores the fertile and sometimes uneasy relationship between science fiction and religion. With a scope spanning the history of religion, philosophy and literature, Nahin follows religious themes in science fiction from Feynman to Foucault and from Asimov to Aristotle.

An intriguing journey through popular and well-loved books and stories, Holy Sci-Fi! shows how sci-fi has informed humanity's attitudes towards our faiths, our future and ourselves.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Religious Science Fiction Before Science Fiction
29
Time Space Gods Omniscience and Free Will
49
Religious Robots
68
Computers as Gods
95
Space Travel Radio and Alien Encounters
109
Time Traveling to Jesus
147
What If God Revealed Himself?
175
Matching Wits with GodThis appendix in very slightly different form originally appeared in my book Will You Be
187
fantasy
192
A Fathers Gift
199
Applied Mathematical Theology
208
Gravitys Whispers
213
Bibliography of Short Stories Cited
216
Index
221
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Paul Nahin was born in California, and did all of his schooling there (Brea-Olinda High 1958, Stanford BS 1962, Caltech MS 1963 and - as a Howard Hughes Staff Doctoral Fellow - UC/Irvine PhD 1972, with all degrees in electrical engineering). He has taught at Harvey Mudd College, the Naval Postgraduate School and the Universities of New Hampshire (where he is now emeritus professor of electrical engineering) and Virginia.

Prof. Nahin has published a couple of dozen short science fiction stories in ANALOG, OMNI, and TWILIGHT ZONE magazines, and has written 14 books on mathematics and physics. He has given invited talks on mathematics at Bowdoin College, the Claremont Graduate School, the University of Tennessee and Caltech, has appeared on National Public Radio's "Science Friday" show (discussing time travel) as well as on New Hampshire Public Radio's "The Front Porch" show (discussing imaginary numbers) and advised Boston's WGBH Public Television's "Nova" program on the script for their time travel episode. He gave the invited Sampson Lectures for 2011 in Mathematics at Bates College (Lewiston, Maine).

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