This month’s lecturer ismy friend and former college professor Dr. Jim Herrick.
His lecture, entitled “Exploring New Myths of Science and Science Fiction,” will be held at the Mt. Baker Theater here in Bellingham at 7:00pm tomorrow (Saturday).
Professor Herrick’s classes on rhetoric and argumentation were some of my favorite classeswhile an undergraduate at Hope College, which prompted me to declare a major in communication.
One thing I’ve always admired about Professor Herrick is the scope of hisinquiry and his ability to bring together ideas from various disciplines and historical eras. I expect that the lecture tomorrow will provide a fascinating and challenging look at how popular cultural gives expression to significant, spiritual ideas.
Herrick’s book The Making of a New Spirituality weaves together Kabbalah, Ayn Rand, Joseph Smith, Marcus Borg, Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan and many other influential figuresto make a case that a new spirituality is emerging that “directly calls into question each major tenet of Judeo-Christian tradition and so represents a radical alternative to it.”
His chapter on science fiction touches on aVictorian-era science fictionnovel, Spielberg’s classic movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Star Trek mythology to show how these cultural artifacts express and reinforce the notion of human evolutionary progress.
If you’re in the area, I hope you can make it to the lecture tomorrow night. Click here for furtherdetails.
For those who can’t make it, I give a hearty plug for Jim’s books, including the one on Scientific Mythologies to be released in 2008:
The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition(InterVarsity Press, 2003)
- A 2004 ECPA Gold Medallion Finalist and one of Preaching magazine’s 2004 “Top Ten Books Every Preacher Should Read”
Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs (InterVarsity Press, 2008)
The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists: The Discourse of Skepticism, 1680-1750(Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1997)
The History and Theory of Rhetoric, 3rd Edition (Allyn & Bacon, 2005)
Argumentation: Understanding and Shaping Arguments(Strata Publishing, 2003)