Biblical Themes in Science Fiction

Nicole L. Tilford and Kelly J. Murphy, editors


Series: Bible and Its ReceptionVolume: 6
Publisher: SBL PressPublication Date: 2023 ISBN: N/A


What does a first-generation female robot have in common with the biblical figure of Eve? Or an intergenerational spaceship with Noah’s ark? If a computer compiles a deceased person’s photographs and digital activities into a virtual avatar, is that a form of resurrection? Such seemingly unlikely scenarios are common in science fiction—and science fiction writers often draw on people, places, and events from biblical texts, assuming that audiences will understand the parallels. Biblical Themes in Science Fiction is a journey from creation to apocalypse where contributors Frank Bosman, Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch, Krista N. Dalton, Tom de Bruin, James F. McGrath, Kelly J. Murphy, Steven J. Schweitzer, Jason A. Staples, Nicole L. Tilford, Christine Wenderoth, and Jackie Wyse-Rhodes trace biblical themes as they appear in contemporary science fiction, including Doctor Who, Lilith’s Brood, The Handmaid’s Tale, Battlestar Galactica, and Fallout 3. Essays are supplemented by images and key science fiction sources for diving deeper into how the Bible influenced writers and creators. An afterword considers the imaginative impulses common to both science fiction and biblical texts.

Nicole L. Tilford is an independent scholar living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of Sensing World, Sensing Wisdom: The Cognitive Foundation of Biblical Metaphors (2017) and editor of Women and the Society of Biblical Literature (2019). She has also published articles on sensory criticism of biblical metaphors and the reception history of the Bible.

Kelly J. Murphy is a professor in the Department of Philosophy, Anthropology, and Religion at Central Michigan University. She is the author of Rewriting Masculinity: Gideon, Men, and Might (2019) and coeditor of Apocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents throughout the Ages (2016).


Additional information


eBook, Hardcover, Paperback

Publication Date



SBL Press


Bible and Its Reception