Table of Contents

Foreword by Reinhard Isensee

Preliminary Remarks: Kinds of Television

Thanks and Acknowledgements


1. The Mythological Genre:
Religious Thought in Allegorical Television

1.1. Introduction: Scope and Outline of the Investigation

Structure of the Book

1.2. The Mythological Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror

The Mythological Genre in Television  /  The Coherence of Narrative and the Use of Mythology

1.3. Theoretical Foundation

Interdisciplinary Character  /  Memetics  /  Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

2. Seeing Things Differently:
A Memetic Approach to Culture

2.1. From Genes to Memes

Selfish Genes, Replicators, Vehicles  /  Imitation  /  "Viruses of the Mind:" Memes as Evolving Ideas  /  The Selfish Phone Meme: Technological Evolution  /  Religion from a Memetic Perspective

2.2. Memetics as a Way of Seeing

Theory in Literary and Cultural Studies  /  Authors Dead and/or Unconscious: Memetics and Post-Structuralism  /  Cui Bono?


3. Errand into the Darkness:
Truth and Lies on The X-Files & Millennium

3.1. Exposition: The X-Files & Millennium

3.2. Franchise-Specific Themes

The Doors of Perception at the Frontier  /  Errand into the Wilderness  /  Errand into the Darkness  /  Forcing the End  /  What is Religious About It?  /  The Truth is Out There  /  Pseudoscience as Subject to Science

4. Between the Darkness and the Light:
Prophecy and the Self on Babylon 5

4.1. Exposition: Babylon 5 & Crusade

4.2. Franchise-Specific Themes

Rediscovering the Epic on Television  /  Who Are You & What Do You Want -- The Soul Caught in Dichotomy  /  Creationism and Christianity on Babylon 5  /  The Soteriology of Sheridan  /  The Universe That Sings Itself

5. "I Touch the Fire and it Freezes Me:"
Soul-Searching on Buffy and Angel

5.1. Exposition: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel

5.2. Franchise-Specific Themes

Stories of Choice and Redemption  /  The Emancipated Psyche  /  Daimonion  /  An Apocalypse, Now & Then  /  Heroism

6. Feeding False Gods:
Serpents, Souls and Hallowed Origins on Stargate

6.1. Exposition: Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis

6.2. Franchise-Specific Themes

Archeology and Anthropology: Indiana Jones in Space  /  Science and Pseudoscience  /  Euhemerism in Space  /  Creationism in Space: "Hallowed are the Ori"  /  Genetic Memory, Lamarckism, Absolute Evil  /  The Goa'uld Inside  /  Stealing Souls  /  Replicators

7. "Photons Be Free:"
Star Trek's Fourth Discontinuity

7.1. Exposition: Star Trek

7.2. Franchise-Specific Themes

"The Measure of a (Wo)Man:" Human Rights for Machines  /  The Soul as Free Will  /  The Fourth Discontinuity


8. Points of Comparison:
Recurring Patterns & Elements

8.1. Recapitulation

Errand into the Wilderness  /  Prophecy and Free Will  /  The Soul  /  False Gods  /  Artificial Intelligence

8.2. Themes Across Franchises

Alien-Human Hybridity  /  Ancients  /  Gender Roles  /  Romantic Stereotypes and Psychotic Narration  /  Advanced Humans and Ascension  /  Death and Resurrection  /  …lan Vital  /  Dreams and Visions  /  Torture  /  Serpents and Arachnoids/Insectoids  /  The Cave, The Watcher, The Philosopher, and Atlantis: Platonism

8.3. Religion in the Mythological Genre

9. The Realism Assumption:
Genre, Memetics and the Evolving Text

9.1. Sufficient Sense

Down the Rabbit Hole Towards the Klingon Forehead Dilemma  /  Science and Fiction  /  Science Fiction as Religion?

9.2. The Genre as Memeplex

Independence of Thought  /  The Evolving Genre  /  Memeplexes and Memetic Drive  /  Selection Pressure  /  The Evolving Text: Genre as Mold, Genre as Riverbed  /  Reality and Fantasy: Of Memes and Groundhogs

10. Conclusion:
The Toolbox of Theory

10.1. The Mind's Eye: Ways of Seeing and Interpreting

10.2. The Emancipation of the Soul

Reality Lost?  /  -- and Recovered