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‘Religion in Sort of a Global Sense’: The Relevance of Religious Practices for Political Community in Battlestar Galactica and Beyond

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The TV show Battlestar Galactica (BSG) may be read as the melding of two polities infused with two different religious systems into one. Drawing on Theodore Schatzki, I argue that this process may best be analysed in terms of the religious practices which they come to perform together. BSG presents a story to the viewer of how a religious practice community that allows differences of creeds and rituals may be realised. With reference to the works of Carl Schmitt and Eric Voegelin, I argue that the key precondition for this to happen is the avoidance of what Voegelin calls political theology. Differences in creed, doctrine, and specific religious practices may exist side by side as long as certain practices associated with the sacred—in the case of BSG, primarily practices that have to do with burying and remembering the dead—are shared.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2011

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