Evangelical Responses to Science Fiction Film and Television, 1960-1980
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This project examines the nature of evangelical interactions with popular culture in the 1960s and 1970s in America, specifically in regard to responses to science fiction film and television. The evangelical movement within Protestant Christianity was gaining traction in this era, as conservative Christians coming out of fundamentalism began to intentionally reengage secular culture. Simultaneously, secular culture was going through radical changes of its own. In response to technological developments and a growing focus on the future of humanity, the genre of science fiction became more prevalent in the media. The development of the Star Trek franchise and the growth of fandom around it are covered here as an indication of the importance of the genre. This study examines the intersection of these two emerging movements of evangelicalism and science fiction. Looking at reviews of and articles on science fiction film and television in an evangelical publication, Christianity Today, with a mainline Protestant publication, the Christian Century, as a comparison, this project advances the argument that Christianity Today’s treatment of science fiction film and television mirrors the increased openness on the part of evangelicals to engage with popular culture in a thoughtful way on secular but relevant matters, while not yet embracing secular culture as wholeheartedly as the Protestant mainline.