Orthodox Faith Meets Science Fiction and Fantasy at Doxacon
In August a cadre of “Geek-Orthodox” Christians arrived at St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C. for Doxacon, an Orthodox science fiction and fantasy convention. Founded in 2012 by Daniel Silver and Father David Subu of Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church in Falls Church, Virginia, Doxacon is a place where believers can embrace their love for The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, comic books, and other speculative works within an Orthodox setting. (Full disclosure: I was one of the presenters Saturday afternoon.)
Doxacon builds on the advice of St. Basil to young men on the right use of Greek literature: “So we, if wise, shall take from heathen books whatever befits us and is allied to the truth, and shall pass over the rest.”
Fr. David Wey of Saints Constantine and Elena Orthodox Church in Indianapolis gave the clergy keynote Friday night and reminded the audience of Fr. Alexander Schmemann’s words that “a Christian is the one who, wherever he looks, finds Christ and rejoices in Him.” In other words, science fiction and fantasy are compatible with faith.
Topics that weekend included a discussion of power in Marvel superhero movies; Dr. Who and death, resurrection, and eternal life; J.R.R. Tolkien’s “On Fairy Stories” as a guide for what makes good fantasy; Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey”; video games; and more. The conference included a delicious catered lunch and dinner featuring Russian cuisine provided by Rus Uz of Arlington, Va. The banquet hall was decorated as Narnia with a prominent lamppost, and they even served Turkish Delight, the transgressive Narnia sweet, for dessert. Costumes and fan t-shirts were plentiful; I saw Wonder Woman and a wizard, among others.
Doxacon is different from other fan conventions because it is more than a celebration of genre; it is focused on exploring topics in depth. It is part fandom and partly academic. Not all of the speakers are Orthodox. Keynote speaker Leah Libresco chronicles her journey from Atheism to Catholicism in her book Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer. But during this weekend, she spoke about wizardry and healing the wounds of the world.
Doxacon is important because it shows believers of every Christian tradition that Christianity and genre aren’t inherently opposed.
“The core of Doxacon is the idea of discernment,” organizer Daniel Silver says. “Our faith should impact and influence all of our lives, hobbies included…As Christians, we also have a calling to engage with the culture around us.”
Doxacon is a way for Christians to integrate fandom and faith. Doxacon is held in Seattle, as well, and will next be presented February 10, 2018. The organizers are also trying to start a conference in Toronto. The next conference in Washington, D.C., will take place in November 2018. For more information on any of these events, visit the Doxacon website. We hope you can join us—with or without your superhero cape.
ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK
Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is a 501(c)3 and an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America . It is a recognized leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty-two years. We have worked to create a community for both believers and non believers alike by sharing the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week and we want to reach millions more! Signup to receive our newsletter email: email@example.com.
Do you find it hard to keep focused on Christ when you’re on the go? OCN makes it easy! You can be inspired daily by the OCN programming from where ever you are by plugging into our Listen, Read, Watch , Wors
Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, volunteers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your sustaining gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure the continued growth of this encouraging Orthodox Community by providing faith-building, free, high-quality programming. Give today to help you and your Orthodox community stay connected no matter the location.
ORTHODOX MOBILE APPS ARE HERE!
Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,