Many of us know popular films like Bladerunner, Total Recall, and The Adjustment Bureau, but did you know they were all based on novels by science fiction author Philip K. Dick? And, would you believe that these sci-fi novels actually have roots in the Bible? Trinity religion professor Ruben Dupertuis studies the implications of early biblical scripture in modern pop culture. This summer, English major Mariah Wahl is working alongside Dr. Dupertuis to uncover the textual implications of the Bible in Dick’s sci-fi novels.
“Because [Dick’s] later writings are his visions of what God told him, they are essentially their own gospel,” said Wahl. A modern sci-fi gospel poses a unique research opportunity for a humanities student to hone her analytic skills and explain how historical documents are alive and influential in our modern culture.
Here at Trinity, a grant from the Mellon foundation funds undergraduate research projects like Wahl’s in the arts and humanities. Wahl admits that at the onset of this project, focusing a thesis from the vast amounts of information from such a prolific novelist seems overwhelming. However, we will follow Wahl throughout the summer as she uncovers trends and textual elements that develop and guide her study.