That's one of the key spiritual themes that I want to tease out in the second chapter of my dissertation.
Matt Stevens highlights this aspect of the storyline in his article about Firefly which can be read on the Damaris website http://www.damaris.org/content/content.php?type=5&id=527
He even goes as far as to say that 'in Firefly we see the beginnings of a community of grace'.
I have been thinking about the way in which Shepherd Book leaves one community (Southdown Abbey) and becomes part of another (Serenity). I wonder if these words from Mike Riddell encapsulate something of Book's experience:
'I have tried to get by on my own, to be a rugged individual. Apart from the fact that I lack ruggedness, it doesn't work anyway. Sure I need my spaces; but without people around they don't seem like spaces - more like a vacuum. At last I have had to face up to it: I need people. I need relationships. Only in the context of belonging somewhere can I make sense of who I am. Over the years I have come to value the shaping power of community. I'm not sure any more that it's possible to be human apart from community. All of us need a place to stand - a group of people who know us as we really are and yet still love us. A community is a place where you can fight without fear of rejection. The search for truth is not a solo venture. We need to hear all the voices if we are going to make sense of the universe.'Riddell, M, firstname.lastname@example.org: Alternative spirituality for the third millennium, (Oxford: Lion Publishing, 1997) pp62-63.
The last two sentences of that quote really speak to me. Might even retitle my dissertation "Making sense of the 'verse."