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Time to Play the Religion Card: Messiah Complexes in Battlestar Galactica

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Wolf_BSG Messiahs.pdf
Title: Time to Play the Religion Card: Messiah Complexes in Battlestar Galactica
Author: Wolf, Carissa Noel
Abstract: In 2003, Battlestar Galactica (BSG) was re-invented from its 1978 roots to a post-apocalyptic narrative steeped in religious rhetoric and Machiavellian politics. This combination of political and religious rhetoric is especially evident in how BSG cultivates multiple messianic characters – namely by transforming President Laura Roslin and scientist Gaius Baltar into a space-age Moses and Christ, respectively. In creating this messianic multiplicity, BSG suggests that a single individual cannot address all of the needs of a desperate people – a messiah can function either in the political realm (serving as an agent of physical salvation) or on a spiritual level (delivering emotional redemption), but not both. Much of this messianic dualism emerges in the characters’ rhetorical strategies – relying on classical Aristotelian forms vs. Judeo-Christian sermonic oratory, how they address underlying needs to appeal to the people, and in the ultimate ‘scope’ of their messianic influence on their societal and cultural history.
Date: 2011
Subject: Religion and Sociology--United States.
Battlestar Galactica (Television program : 2003)
Battlestar Galactica (Television program : 2004-2009)
Science fiction television programs -- History and criticism.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Master of Arts / English, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, 2011.
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/10365/23231

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