During my time of working on other academic areas, Leonard Nimoy died. Many have eulogized him in his passing, and I too have felt that keen sense of cultural loss.
Not only did I grow up with the TV reruns of Star Trek, but saw the trilogy/story arc of the best Trek films–The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock, and The Voyage Home–in the theater. Nimoy wasn’t the guest star at the convention my sister dragged me to, but his presence was everywhere.
More specific to this blog, Nimoy was one of the gateways of my introduction to Bigfoot through In Search Of. (In addition to the link, I’m embedding the video below this post.)
Nimoy, though Jewish, embodies our hope in the resurrection in Star Trek 3. (Ghosts surviving beyond death? No big deal – every culture has that. But the resurrection, where the person we knew returns as a restored body and soul – that’s the miracle, the undoing of death.) So Spock, the embodiment of the modern, rational man suffers death, but returns from the grave. Is this pattern, Spock was the archetype of the twentieth century in the West. The society that was supposed to champion reason and scientific discovery found that the scientific method was not enough, and religion and the supernatural demonstrated its resiliency and powerful draw.
For appreciating Nimoy, I recommend two resources. First is the book I Am Spock (if you can find the audio version at your library, it feels like Nimoy is personally sharing his life’s story with you.) Did you know that the ‘live long and prosper’ hand gesture is actually the rabbinic shema blessing from Judaism? Also, this memoir conveys how seriously he worked at the crafts of acting and directing.
Also, listen to the Interfaith Voices radio/podcast interview with Nimoy. His interviews and eulogies show that he was a decent guy in a fallen world. As a Christian fan who appreciated his artistic work and person, I wish that he who acted out a resurrection in art will one day experience the Resurrection in Christ on the final day.