Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Brett Esaki

Second Advisor

Molly Bassett

Third Advisor

David Bell


This thesis examines the ways that works of science fiction are being used to provide tools for negotiating contemporary, modern life and defining identity. The primary method of research for this project is a series of interviews conducted with participants attending a public science fiction and fantasy convention, called Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA. The interviews include questions about the impact of science fiction on entertainment, identity, and community. Incorporating the model of the “fan object” into the way religious studies scholars interpret religion provides insight on a new example of religious individualism that seems to be one new step in the evolution of religion.