World Theology and Alternate Universes Reading Group

SJU fans of speculative fiction have finally gotten organized!

We’ll read about characters faced with urgent questions of theology and ethics in the context of alternate worlds: other planets, other galaxies, and other/future timelines on Earth. These stories draw on, and sometimes question, Earth religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, and Taoism.
Everyone is welcome!
Below is the date and readings for our first meeting (and the suggested schedule for future meetings).

You will need to register in advance on Zoom so we can send you reminders for the following meetings:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0uduihrjMpG93zCjnsuL-OOGeYDNhTydKn

March 2, 2021, 7:30-8:45
We’ll discuss two science fiction stories (and a short TV adaptation of one) that address the nature of God from the perspectives of Catholicism and Buddhism. They are available online at no charge at these links:

“The Nine Billion Names of God” [short story] by Arthur C. Clarke
https://urbigenous.net/library/nine_billion_names_of_god.html

“The Star” [short story] by Arthur C. Clarke.
https://sites.uni.edu/morgans/astro/course/TheStar.pdf

The Twilight Zone episode “Star” [14 min, filmed low-budget in 1985]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9ru_P5uIJc&feature=youtu.be

April 6, 2021, 7:30-8:45

The Sparrow [novel] by Maria Doria Russell
Seattle Librarian Nancy Pearl calls this “a philosophical novel about the nature of good and evil and what happens when a man tries to do the right thing, for the right reasons and ends up causing incalculable harm”.

Meetings will continue at the same time on
May 4
June 1
July 6
August 3.

We plan to include books by Ursula LeGuin and Octavia Butler. But we’re open to ideas. There are a lot of worlds out there!

Remember to register here, and join us on March 2: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0uduihrjMpG93zCjnsuL-OOGeYDNhTydKn