From Publishers WeeklyIn a growing category of titles that mine popular culture for theological significance, this addition is notable for its scholarly aspirations and weight of critical apparatus. English professor Bertonneau and religion scholar Paffenroth "read" their DVD collections of classic TV sci-fi with tremendous seriousness, reflected through the literary and anthropological sensibilities of thinkers including Mircea Eliade, Nicolas Berdyaev and René Girard. The classics are an eclectic bunch, including iconic standards like Star Trek, The Twilight Zone and The X Files as well as series that found a smaller (but certainly devoted) following: Dr. Who, The Prisoner and Babylon 5. These series justify in-depth attention when they raise moral, intellectual and religious questions in imaginative ways. But even the most literate fans will struggle with the overstuffed academic style: "the Time Lords show a tendency to take their own rules and exegeses with an unbending, Pharisee-like seriousness; while not Gnostics, they display at times a characteristically Manichaean hauteur." Even readers suitably familiar with TV science fiction and humanities scholarship will wish for a lighter tone in discussing what is, however worthy of analysis, primarily intended as entertainment. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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