C. S. Lewis on the Final Frontier: Science and the by Sanford Schwartz

By Sanford Schwartz

C.S. Lewis's celebrated house Trilogy - Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous energy - used to be accomplished over sixty years in the past and has remained in print ever on account that. during this groundbreaking research, Sanford Schwartz deals a brand new analyzing that demanding situations the normal view of those novels as portraying a simple fight among a pre-modern cosmology and the trendy clinical paradigm that supplanted it.Schwartz situates Lewis's paintings within the context of recent highbrow, cultural, and political background. He exhibits that Lewis doesn't easily push aside the fashionable "evolutionary model," yet discriminates conscientiously between other forms of evolutionary theory-"mechanistic" in Out of the Silent Planet, "vitalist" in Perelandra, and "spiritual" in That Hideous Strength-and their certain perspectives of human nature, society, and non secular trust. Schwartz additionally indicates that during each one booklet the clash among Christian and "developmental" viewpoints is much extra complicated than is usually assumed. according to the Augustinian realizing that "bad issues are good stuff perverted," Lewis constructs every one of his 3 "beatific" communities-the "unfallen" worlds on Mars and Venus and the terrestrial remnant at St. Anne's-not because the sheer antithesis yet really because the transfiguration or "raising up" of the actual evolutionary doctrine that's certain within the novel. during this recognize, Lewis is extra deeply engaged with the most currents of contemporary notion than his personal self-styled photograph as an highbrow "dinosaur" may lead us to think. he's additionally way more ready to discover the chances for reshaping the evolutionary version in a fashion that's at the same time appropriate with conventional Christian doctrine and dedicated to addressing the designated matters of recent existence.C.S. Lewis at the ultimate Frontier highlights the long-lasting relevance of Lewis's fiction to modern issues on a large choice of matters, together with the moral difficulties surrounding bio-technology and the conflict among spiritual and naturalistic worldviews within the twenty-first century. faraway from providing a black and white distinction among an old style Christian humanism and a newfangled heresy, the gap Trilogy can be visible as a contemporary non secular apologist's looking attempt to complement the previous via serious engagement with the latter.

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Extra info for C. S. Lewis on the Final Frontier: Science and the Supernatural in the Space Trilogy

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While Ransom and his hrossan comrades have been hunting the hnakra, Devine and Weston have been hunting for Ransom himself. Spotting him on the shore just after he slays the hnakra, Ransom’s pursuers shoot and kill his hrossan friend (whom they perceive as a violent beast and hence a threat to Ransom, who must be kept alive for sacrifice to the sorns). In the aftermath of this sequence, Ransom sees that his own exuberance, which prompted him to ignore the eldil ’s command to refrain from 38 C. S.

Like many men of his own age, he rather underestimated than overestimated his own courage; the gap between boyhood’s dreams and his actual experience of the War had been startling, and his subsequent view of his own unheroic qualities had perhaps swung too far in the opposite direction. (38) 32 C. S. Lewis on the Final Frontier Over the course of the novel Lewis probes the mind of his apprehensive hero but also begins to provide him with the resources, at once physical and spiritual, to overcome the crippling effects of fear.

And simultaneously to reaffirm (in a peculiar mixture of Arthurian and Gothic romance) a traditional conception of the supernatural. As in the “up-gradings” of Wells on Mars and Bergson on Venus, the construction of a beatific “original” at the manor of St. E. to a distorted Gothic double. If Lewis constructs his imaginary worlds by “taking up” the very things he is putting down, then we must reconsider the terms of engagement that have traditionally informed the interpretation of this series. Ever since its publication, the Space Trilogy has been read primarily in terms of a sharply defined struggle between religious and naturalistic points of view, the first associated with the “dis16 C.

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