The Theology of Battlestar Galactica

American Christianity in the 2004–2009 Television Series


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About the Book

The reimagined television series Battlestar Galactica (2005 to 2009 on the Sci Fi Channel), features religion and theology among its central concerns—but does not simply use its myriad faiths as plot devices or background material. Battlestar Galactica is, in and of itself, a theological text. Over the course of 87 episodes and two television movies, the series’ narrative arc explores the meanings of salvation, prophecy, exile, apocalypse, resurrection, and messianism, and clearly demonstrates the working of a divine will in a material world. The book offers a systematic theology for each of Battlestar Galactica’s invented religions and surveys echoes of American Christianity in the groundbreaking series.

About the Author(s)

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr., is a professional actor and director whose previous books have covered topics ranging from Star Wars to Renaissance faires. He is a professor and chair of the theater department at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

Bibliographic Details

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 219
Bibliographic Info: appendices, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6550-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8946-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Introduction      1

I. Created Theologies      17
1. A Systematic Theology of Human Religion / The Human Understanding of God      19
2. A Systematic Theology of Cylon Religion / The Cylon Understanding of God      38
3. A Systematic Theology of the Baltar Cult / The Baltar Cult Understanding of God      55

II. Real-World Echoes      67
4. Gospels, Sins and Salvation: The Use of Christian Terminology in BSG      68
5. “In His Own Image He Created Them”: Creation and Falls      79
6. Exile and the Remnant: Religion of the Planetless      93
7. The Role of Prophets      109
8. Starbuck Died, Starbuck Is Risen, Starbuck Will Come Again: Messiahs and Resurrection in BSG      125
9. Cylon Messiah, Human Judas: Baltar, Betrayal and Redemption      139
10. From Patmos to Caprica: Battlestar Apocalyptica      153

Conclusion: The Plan      169
Epilogue: The Theology of Caprica; or, Why Parents Don’t Always Look Like Their Children      174

Appendix I: Episode List by Season      191
Appendix II: Glossary      195
Bibliography      199
Index of Scriptural Quotations      205
General Index      207

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “valuable”—Midwest Book Review
  • “Wetmore offers a volume of modern theology examining the religious undertones of the hit television show Battlestar Galactica”—Reference & Research Book News