Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky contains some things that, to me at least, appear to be direct religious commentary / allegory / parody. For instance, the name of "Jordan" being God, and the mention that saying "Jordan" or "Huff" was swearing.

The belief of the "Trip" to mean the afterlife. They sacrifice to the Converter. The sacred books thing, and the interpreting it as being metaphorical instead of literal. There are others.

Given the sheer number of references and parodies there are, I'd be very surprised if this wasn't intentional. However, my Google-fu is failing to reveal any sources that even mention these parallels, let alone say if they were intended or not.

Are these actually biblical parallels, and, if so, were they intentional on Heinlein's part?


Yes, the parallels are almost certainly intentional.

It has been quite a while since I read the book, so some details are vague. There is however little doubt in my mind that Heinlein used the story as a vehicle for criticising religious obscurantism as perpetrated by the Christian church in medieval times as well as today.

I remember in particular the protagonist being on trial for claiming that the world is a spaceship, and after being condemned, he says "It still moves!", paralleling Galileo's alleged whispered remark after he was forced by the Vatican to renounce his belief that the Earth is moving around the sun.

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