Martians, demons, vampires, and vicars: the Church of England in post-war science fiction

Harmes, Marcus (2013) Martians, demons, vampires, and vicars: the Church of England in post-war science fiction. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 25 (2). pp. 217-229.


British science fiction is noteworthy for its juxtaposition of the familiar with the threatening, notably locating alien invasions in the Home Counties. This apposition can mean that one emblem of traditional Englishness - the Church of England - sits in tension with a cosmology which includes Martians, alien demons, and other preternatural menaces which challenge Christian teachings on the origins and mechanics of both earthly and heavenly realms. Particular science fiction texts, written after the last period of numerical growth for the Church of England, interpret this institution's decline. This article analyses the largely overlooked contribution of science fiction to understanding and charting this decline.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Open Access College
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2013 03:02
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2015 06:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anglican Church; catastrophist fiction; Church of England; Day of the Triffids (novel); Doctor Who; John Wyndham; Nigel Kneale; post-war England; Quatermass and the Pit (TV serial)
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2005 Literary Studies > 200503 British and Irish Literature
16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3138/jrpc.25.2.217

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