Religious Studies

in the Department of Philosophy and Religion

Doctor Who and Religion

Religion Forum Series Lecture:

Oct. 2, 4:30 pm,

in Bryant Hall 209

Dr. James F. McGrath

“Doctor Who and Religion: A Short Trip Through 50 Years of Time and Space Travel”


Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction television show in history, and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Such a long-running show provides a unique opportunity to trace trends in the intersection of religion and popular culture. But Doctor Who (like much other science fiction) also explores a number of scenarios that are interesting from the perspective of religious studies. For instance, if one traveled through time, could one change the ancient practice of human sacrifice, or the outcome of the Council of Nicaea? Or if the gods and demons of ancient peoples were real alien beings, would that undermine human religion, or demonstrate it to be literally true?


Dr. James F. McGrath is the Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University. In addition to his work on New Testament, McGrath has written or edited a number of works related to the intersection of religion and science fiction, including Religion and Science Fiction (Pickwick Publications, 2011) and Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith: Religion and Doctor Who (Darton, Longman, and Todd, 2013), the latter co-edited with Andrew Crome. He blogs regularly about these topics at Exploring Our Matrix.


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