Added Author

Rachel Anderson


“Those stories you heard? About going to a wonderful place [after you die] called ‘heaven’ where there is no more pain or death and you live forever in a state of perpetual happiness? …total bullshit.”[1] Wade Watts, the protagonist of the 2011 novel Ready Player One, describes the blissful Christian afterlife in distinctly derisive terms. His scornful skepticism of Christian constructs like heaven, represent the typical stance of science fiction and media. Although some sci-fi media is created by Christians for Christians,[2] the vast majority tends to condemn organized religions like Christianity for being too irrational and exclusive. To promote technological rather than religious ideologies, transhumanists like Max More believe that “transhumanism (like humanism) can act as a philosophy of life that fulfills some of the same functions as a religion without any appeal to a higher power, a supernatural entity, to faith, and without the other core features of religions.”[3]This message—that transhumanist technologies including immersive virtual reality (IVR) improve upon Christian belief systems—becomes reinforced within sci-fi media.

[1] Ernest Cline, Ready Player One, 1st ed. (New York: Crown Publishers, 2011). 18.

[2] For example, Madeline L’Engle’s young adult novel, A Wrinkle in Time and C.S. Lewis’ “Cosmic Trilogy”.

[3] Max More and Natasha Vita-More, The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013): 8.


Religions; Religions -- Philosophy; Religions -- History


Relics, Remnants, and Religion: an Undergraduate Journal in Religious Studies

Publication Date




Publication Place

Tacoma, Washington


The University of Puget Sound