On Earth theocracies have been very reluctant to accept scientific progress, for instance the Catholic church, which dominated Medieval Europe, had a very hard time accepting Copernicus's, Galileo's and Kepler's theories on planetary motion, and after the Muslim conquest of Egypt, in 642 AD, caliph Omar ordered what was left of the library of Alexandria to be destroyed with the justification:
»If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if these are opposed to the Quran, destroy them«
(or rather Wikipedia claims that some sources say so)
Therefor I was wondering if it is possible to make a realistic timeline, in which a theocracy first comes to dominate an earth like planet, before any industrial revolution can happen, and many years later this theocracy develops a working Alcubierre drive.
Definition of theocracy
Meriam Websters defines a theocracy to be
government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided
However I will also assume that the leaders of this hypothetical theocracy do believe in their religion (that is, the religion was not created as a hoax to fool the people).
Definition of global dominance
When I say that my hypothetical theocracy gains »global dominance« before any industrial revolution can happen, I do not mean that they have to take over the entire planet by force, I only mean that they gain such a dominant economical and political position, that no other nation on the planet has the resources to invest in scientific and technological development.
The reason that i want this form of »global dominance« to be a part of this hypothetical question, is that if it was not, then the Theocracy would simply be able to steal the technology of the other civilizations on the planet.
Developing Alcubierre Drive
Firstly i must assume that the Alcubierre Drive is possible, which requires that it is possible to create and contain so called exotic matter, which is particles with negative mass and therefor negative energy – something that modern science has neither proven to be possible nor impossible.
Furthermore, when i say »developing the Alcubierre drive, i also mean that this hypothetical theocracy must develop both the Alcubierre drive, all the technology and science necessary to do, and the scientific knowledge to travel through space themselves (in other words, they did not steal or receive the technology from a conveniently bypassing alien, or from other civilizations on their home planet).
To sum up: my question is what events would most realistically need to take place, in order for a theocracy to develop the Alcubierre Drive by itself, based on the previously defined assumptions.
As Secespitus correctly points out, this specific question does look rather opinion based, since we (as i briefly mentioned) don't know if Alcubierre drives are possible, and what developing them will require; (that is why i made sure not to ask for any specifications of how long this timeline would take).
Of course i could have simply avoided having to assume that the Alcubierre drive is possible by asking for a realistic timeline for a theocracy developing advanced technology, however I still asked about the Alcubierre drive in particular both because it would require very advanced science (including all that we know now) and will (if possible) require a lot of investments in a technology which might not work at all.
Therefor this question is rather about what it would take for a theocracy to make such investments in science, rather than whether or not the Alcubierre drive is possible.