This weekend, I shall venture into the intersection of piety and geekdom in northern Virginia. The Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church is sponsoring a Christian science fiction and fantasy convention at a NoVa Hilton with an emphasis on theological themes in popular sci fi and fantasy culture—Doxacon:
DOXACON is an opportunity for Christian fans of the science-fiction & fantasy genre, to engage in positive exploration of themes held in common between Christianity, Fantasy and Science Fiction… especially in a time in which this genre is seeing a renaissance among popular culture. If you enjoy engaging in meaningful dialogue on subjects concerning Middle Earth, Hogwarts, Narnia, Star Trek, Star Wars, Arrakis, or Doctor Who, to name just a few, then this is the conference is for you!
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes—and there will be optional “break out sessions” titled “Battlestar Galactica as Preparation for the Gospel” and “Firefly: Browncoats and The Beatitudes.” What is not to love? If only Pratchett, L’Engle, Dick, and Le Guin were featured, as well as some comic and anime representatives, there would be endless joy. For a starter, though, it looks like a promising time. I hope that it goes well, and perhaps it will grow into an annual event. Doxacon may even help to encourage contemporary Christian writers, and, if nothing else, it will serve as a networking aid for such people. We counterrevolutionaries certainly need to invest more in offering intelligent and high quality alternatives in popular culture, though far-sighted pagans like Herbert and Whedon have created much worthwhile even despite their world views due to the power of their natural reason and aesthetic intelligence. There is still much to be done, if not to rebuild civilization, then at least to shore up the ramparts. As Fr. Z. would say, “brick by brick.”