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  • Michael Moorcock
    "a genuine philosophy for the 21st century"
  • Mary Midgley
    "this matters - read it!"
  • Kendall Walton
    "wonderfully refreshing and inventive"

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As an Orthodox Jew, I've always had problems with the concept of the dead eventually coming back to life. I've also always had problems with the idea that everyone should eventually agree with the Jews. (These are both popular positions among us.) The miracle of resurrection goes against my belief in, I suppose, what you call "orthodox science fiction", and the idea of unifying beliefs is personally repulsive to me. So I do interpret all references to bringing back the dead in a science-fiction light, as your thought experiment depicts, and it never once occurred to me that this would convince everyone to be Jews.

To be more accurate, I've always figured that "raising the dead" is a reference to time travel. Whether you go back or they come forward, none of the dead are quite so dead anymore. And I wouldn't assume that religious people will or won't be the first to have the technology.

Mory: thanks for your thoughtful comment here; although I have positioned this piece in tension between orthodox Christian beliefs and orthodox science fiction, the point I am making is far more general, of course.

I rather suspect that, since Judaism is explicitly founded upon an ethnic identity, it cannot easily take upon the concept of conversion in the manner that the other Abrahamic faiths sometimes take so very, very seriously. And the Dharmic religions seem to sidestep these issues rather completely. :)

All the best!

If you ever turn your thought experiment into a short story, I'd read it.

Theo: this is actually a small part of the plot to my unwritten novel Uptime, the sequel to my two published science fiction novels Downtime and Dreamtime. But I think it vanishingly unlikely I will complete the trilogy since the original books have vanished into the black hole that is fiction publishing. :)

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