Rev. Matt Rawle, pastor of The Well UMC in Ponchatoula, was among a number of scholars from the United Kingdom, the United States and Scandinavia invited to speak Nov. 2 in the UK at the University of Manchester during the 50th anniversary celebration of “Doctor Who,” a British science-fiction television program.
Rawle presented a paper entitled, “God, Time and Identity: Doctor Who and the Great Physician’s Table,” which discussed using “Doctor Who” as a “lens through which a congregation might understand the nature of the Trinity, God’s relationship with time, and human identity.” Over the show’s long history on television, religion and religious themes were consistently a subject of interest to Doctor Who fans and to persons interested in the intersection of religion and popular culture. In the program, “The Doctor” faces a variety of foes while working to save civilizations and right wrongs.
One of the major points made in the paper references the definition of “identity.” “Our identity is not what we think, say, or do; rather our identity is what we think, say, and do over time. In other words, our identity is our memory. We are a collection of our experiences. There is an intimate connection between identity and memory. It’s one of the specific things Jesus asked us to do—“Do this in remembrance of me,” though salvation does not depend on our remembrance of Christ; rather salvation comes from being remembered by Christ,” said Rawle.
A link to Rev. Rawle’s talk is available here. http://thepostmodernpastor.com/2013/11/08/doctor-who-and-preaching/