Powerblog: Rogue One and Religious Diversity

Today at the Acton PowerBlog, I look at the unique depiction of the Force in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’:

We already know of two traditions of Force religion: the Jedi and the Sith. But shouldn’t we expect that an inter-galactic religion should have many divergent traditions? Global religions on Earth certainly do. And those differences matter. Think of how sociologist Max Weber argued that the “Protestant ethic” shaped the “spirit of capitalism.” Even those who have disagreed with Weber do not generally dispute that religious sub-traditions have important impacts on societies and economies — how much more so on galaxies?

While I don’t have high hopes for complex inter-religious relations in future Star Wars movies, I take Rogue One’s contradictory monistic depiction (as opposed to the light/dark dualism of the other films) to be a positive move toward a better portrayal of religious diversity in Star Wars beyond the antagonism between the Sith and the Jedi.

Read the whole post here.

Powerblog: Mars needs religion!

Today at the Acton Powerblog, I take some inspiration from James Poulos to reflect on the need for a sense of other-worldliness right here on Earth:

C.S. Lewis once remarked, “No man would find an abiding strangeness on the Moon unless he were the sort of man who could find it in his own back garden.”

This, to me, is the problem. On the one hand, the isolation of interplanetary travel and pioneer life on an alien planet has a certain poverty to it that I would expect to evoke the most basic religious desires.

On the other hand — as Poulos rightly argued — if the people who go aren’t religious in the first place, I’m not so sure that even Mars will change that. But if so, then we must see how, even now, life on Earth still “invites us to contemplate … our deepest spiritual needs,” too.

Read the whole post here.