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Friday, September 1 • 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Visions of the Future: Science Fiction Between Science and Scripture

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Science fiction, as Ursula LeGuin once argued, often uses the futuristic setting of stories as a way of analyzing and critiquing the present. In that way, science fiction is “about” the present; by showing a future that the present might plausibly develop into, a piece of science fiction can help to highlight those features of the present that are worth strengthening, as well as those that ought to be minimized or left behind. This literary form finds a rather direct parallel in the prophetic stories populating the sacred texts of many different religions — there too, the future is used to critique and analyze the present. The difference is that science fiction *also* insists on fidelity to science, making apparent miracles into occasions to be explained rather than testimonies of faith. Our panel explores these overlaps and tensions, particularly highlighting those works of science fiction that explicitly deal with religion as they advance their purportedly secular visions. Join representatives from a variety of faith traditions for a rousing conversation!

avatar for Patrick Thaddeus Jackson

Patrick Thaddeus Jackson

Professor and Associate Dean, American University
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson is Professor of International Studies and Associate Dean for Curriculum and Learning in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of the Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. Professor of the Year Award for the District of Columbia, and regularly teaches classes on science fiction and international affairs (among other topics). He writes on social theory, the philosophy of science, identity, and popular culture; in the latter category he has published pieces on Star Trek, Harry Potter, Battlestar Galactica, Iain M. Banks’ “Culture” novels, and Star Wars. He blogs irregularly... Read More →

avatar for Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad

President, director, Minaret of Freedom Institute
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D. is an internationally known interdisciplinary scientist of Palestinian descent, born at sea and raised in the United States. He is author of Signs in the Heavens: A Muslim Astronomer's Perspective on Religion and Science and he teaches courses on Islamic religion, history and civilization and religion, science and freedom at Wesley Theological Seminary and a course on "Changing Views of the Universe" at American University. Dr. Ahmad has received the... Read More →
avatar for Holly Jackson

Holly Jackson

Pastor, United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley
The Reverend Holly R. Jackson became pastor at UCCSV in August 2016. Previously, she served as the Minister of Christian Education at Hope UCC in Alexandria, VA. As someone who is passionate about children and families, Holly has also spent time a Stay-at-Home Parent and a School Social Worker. Holly has a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, 2012, and a Master of Social Work from Fordham University, 1997. Holly will tell you that she is a beloved messy child of God on a mission to make people believe in love, goodness, grace, redemption, and the inherent worth of all beings. In ministry she seeks to follow Jesus as he wades into the crazy sea of humanity preaching peace and hope to the least and lost. She deeply believes that God is still speaking and active in this world and works to help create a church that reflects that reality. She sees spiritual disciplines and justice work as two halves of the whole of what works to propel us on our spiritual path... Read More →
avatar for Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer

University Chaplain, American University
Mark is the tenth University Chaplain in American University's history, appointed to the position in September 2016 after having served for 14 years as AU's United Methodist Chaplain. He is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary and is an ordained elder in the Baltimore-Washin... Read More →

avatar for Stacy Bruss

Stacy Bruss

Manager, Science Programming, Museum of Science Fiction
Stacy Bruss, MS, MSIS, is the engineering librarian at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). At NIST, she supports all Engineering Laboratory researchers and manages the Innovation Hub, a center with 3-D printers, technology bar, data visualization tools, and... Read More →

Friday September 1, 2017 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Harding (100)

Attendees (17)