Julie Clawson claims “Doctor Who” says more about God than many churches do

April 9, 2013

“Alleluia! The Doctor Returns” by Julie Clawson
On her One Hand Clapping blog, Julie Clawson tells of seeing fresh images of the divine in the television science fiction program, Doctor Who. She says she finds this to be true even though “the two men who have creatively led and written many of the episodes of the BBC reboot of the show, Russell Davies and Stephen Moffat, are both self-proclaimed atheists.“ Why does Clawson feel as she does?  She explains that Davies and Moffat “frequently address religious themes and use the character of the Doctor to challenge hollow and dangerous conceptions of God. It is in their attempts to use the Doctor to deconstruct inward-focused religion which has little relevance in a world full of injustice and pain that an alternative, more meaningful, vision of God emerges.” As you read Julie Clawson’s thoughts about this, perhaps you can think of additional examples from movies, literature, television, music, and other forms of art and popular culture that convey deep, relevant spiritual truth without being overtly “religious” in either the heavy-handed propaganda or marketing sense of the word.  You might also want to take time to read an insightful essay by Larry Shallenberger on “The Hidden Dangers of Marketing God,” posted on the Burnside Writers Collective website.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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