Thursday, 17 April 2008


I am currently working towards an MA in Leadership, Renewal and Mission through Cliff College.

For my dissertation I intend to explore the spiritual themes of the sci-fi/western series ‘Firefly’ and the film ‘Serenity’.

The dissertation has to be completed by the end of March 2009. So far I've formulated the following outline:

Chapter 1: Setting the context by describing the characters and storylines presented in ‘Firefly’ and ‘Serenity’.

Chapter 2: What insights into the nature of spirituality and the emerging church are gleaned from these programmes? (eg: What is learnt from the way in which community is formed on board the spaceship ‘Serenity’.)

Chapter 3: Re-imagine a new storyline for the show – ‘How might the church emerge in the ’verse?’ or ‘Where will the search for Serenity lead’

Chapter 4: Reflection on the above exercise asking ‘What is a church?’ and ‘How can it be allowed/encouraged to emerge in an alternative society?’

Chapter 5: Critique of the usefulness of the above exercise.

My hypothesis is that an imaginative/fictitious exercise (Chapter3), which engages with ‘popular culture’ and with ‘the emerging conversation’, can reveal useful insights into the way in which the church can be re-imagined in the twenty-first century.

I'll be using this blog to record my observations as I work through this process.

I'm keen to develop a conversation with other people who are interested in spirituality, sci-fi (in particular 'Firefly'/'Serenity') and the emerging church.


Rach C said...


how interesting,
well done for getting it all set, I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops


Lou Davis said...

Hi Julie, I've just finished the same MA at Cliff. I also love firefly - I just re-watched the whole series two weeks ago :) It sounds like a really interesting thesis.

I remember a few years ago when I was studying at Nazarene Theological College, that one of the students wrote a very good thesis on the theology of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - it might be worth looking out.

mira1023 said...

I happened upon your blog as I was searching for resources! I'm part of a young adult group at my church and we decided yesterday that this year we're going to do an informal study of Firefly and spirituality. And this was the first thing that came up! :)

I haven't really read much of this yet, but it looks like it's going to be really helpful in finding topics and places to get started (spirituality and Firefly by themselves are a little general for a 45 minute time once a week). If you have any suggestions on where to start, that would be really cool.

Julie said...

Hi mira1023

Thanks for your comment.

Let me know how your study of Firefly & spirituality goes.

Take a look at these notes on the first five episodes - - they will give you a good starting point.