EPIC SCI-FI FRANCHISE: Captain Kirk (Chris Pine, right) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) continue their explorations. © 2013 PARAMOUNT PICTURES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Galactic hopes

You are writing about Star Trek for a religious magazine?” My friend’s question was not antireligious. He just knew that the Star Trek TV and film series have long been insistently nonreligious.

Part of the hope assumed in Gene Roddenberry’s original campy space series was that technology and intergalactic tolerance would triumph over parochialisms such as nationalism and religion. There were holdouts, of course—the Klingons and the Romulans and other primitives opposed the UN of the 23rd century. But they could be subdued by Captain Kirk’s hot-blooded American know-how, by First Officer Spock’s cold-blooded Vulcan logic and by the Enterprise’s phasers, photon torpedoes and warp speed. In the end Star Trek has not replaced religion, however, just repurposed it.


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