I asked Karina some questions about their new anthology of Catholic science-fiction, and appreciated hearing her and Bob's detailed responses.
Q: The title of your Anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God makes me ask how God, who is infinite, also can create something infinite. I always thought he created only finite worlds and beings (even space), even though these may be multi-dimensional.
Infinite space, infinite numbers, infinite possibilities… Can they really be infinite? When it comes to our limited human perceptions, the answer is, "Yes, of course." But just like in mathematics, there are different infinities.
Thomas Aquinas said that things other than God can be relatively infinite without being essentially infinite, and that when you speak of infinity, you are speaking about the potentiality of an object rather than the form of the object. (Summa Theologica, Question 7: The Infinity of God)
In general--again, there are always exceptions--most fiction is interested in evoking an emotion: romances pull at our heartstrings, while adventures like thrillers get our hearts racing. Horror and mystery evoke suspense and fear. Literary, because it's such a wide field, can play to any of our emotions. Also, these genres generally look to the past or present and to individuals or small groups.
--"Brother John," "Brother Jubal in the Womb of Silence," and "Little Madeleine" are about religious brothers and sisters living their calling in the future.
--"Our Daily Bread," "Stabat Mater," "Canticle of the Wolf," and "These Three" deal with very Catholic miracles and/or saints.
--"Mask of the Ferret" and "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" rely heavily on Catholic practices to get the protagonist through his crisis.
Does this prevent us from reading non-religious science fiction? Absolutely not.
dustiam: The phrase "We don't expect our stories to bring about changes in doctrine" in the prior paragraph is confusing. I suspect the Fabians meant don't expect their stories to influence the Church's understanding of doctrine, as may be required by future events, such as genetic technologies and encounters with aliens.