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“What I’ve Seen with Your Eyes”: Relational Theology and Ways of Seeing in Blade Runner

Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, KY 40503, USA
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Religions 2019, 10(11), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10110625
Received: 18 September 2019 / Revised: 18 October 2019 / Accepted: 31 October 2019 / Published: 12 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue This and Other Worlds: Religion and Science Fiction)
This paper examines the theme of relational theology in the Blade Runner science fiction franchise by exploring the symbolism of eyes and sight in the films. Using the work of ecofeminist theologian Sallie McFague, we explore the contrast between the arrogant, detached eye of surveillance (what we call the “gods’ eye view”) which interprets the other-than-human world as instrumental object, and the possibility of the loving eye of awareness and attention (the “God’s eye view”) which views the other-than-human world as an equal subject with intrinsic value. How the films wrestle with what is “real” and how the other-than-human is regarded has implications for our present time as we face enormous upheavals due to climate disruption and migration and the accompanying justice issues therein. We make the case that the films are extended metaphors that provide a window on our own dystopian present which present us with choices as to how we will see the world and respond to the ecological and humanitarian crises already upon us. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; science fiction; Blade Runner; Sallie McFague; relational theology; climate change religion; science fiction; Blade Runner; Sallie McFague; relational theology; climate change
MDPI and ACS Style

Schade, L.D.; Askew, E. “What I’ve Seen with Your Eyes”: Relational Theology and Ways of Seeing in Blade Runner. Religions 2019, 10, 625.

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