Astrotopia: The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race
A conversation with Mary Jane Rubenstein
If you’re wondering what’s going on with Elon Musk (at Twitter and beyond), taking a religious approach can reveal some interesting things . . So I talked to Mary-Jane Rubenstein, a professor of Religion and Science in Society at Wesleyan University and the author of the new book Astrotopia: The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race.
We discussed whether Elon Musk is like a religious leader (and if that might help us understand how to react to him), the ways that science fiction has acted as a mythology for space expansionists, how imperial Christianity set the stage for capitalism and (space) colonialism, and the history of a Nazi rocket scientist turned evangelical Christian who partnered with Disney to popularize America’s Manifest Destiny in the stars. This conversation is fascinating, so be sure to take a listen over the holiday break!
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Further reading from the episode:
Mary Jane’s book Astrotopia: The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race
Mary Jane Rubenstein in conversation with me at The Philosopher (we discuss different points than the podcast!)
Company Rules: Martian Colonies and Silicon Valley’s Corporations in Space comparing colonial corporations’ rule to Musk and Bezos’s plans for space
Lost in Space, looking at the ideology and history of space expansion, in the Boston Review
The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis by Lynn White Jr.
The High Frontier and Jeff Bezos’s vision of American Imperialism by Ben Little and Alison Winch
More on Werner von Braun, the Nazi rocket scientist who worked for Disney and NASA
Jill Lepore’s podcast series on Elon Musk and outer space, The Evening Rocket
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