Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Bible And Science In Literature

(i) The Bible and Homer are foundation documents of Western civilization.

(ii) Some major works have Biblical and Classical contents, e.g., Dante's Comedy; John Milton's Paradise Lost and Samson Agonistes.

(iii) The cited Miltonic works also have Classical forms: epic and dramatic, respectively.

(iv) Many other works refer to the Bible but have historical or contemporary contents.

(v) Mary Shelley initiated speculative fiction about consequences of science, thus about possible futures.

(vi) Because her scientist character, Frankenstein, described in the title as "The Modern Prometheus," creates human life, a new Adam, her novel opens with a quotation from Paradise Lost.

(vii) Wells, Stapledon and others developed the new tradition of speculative fiction/science fiction/sf.

(viii) CS Lewis' interplanetary novels defend a Biblical/medieval world view against the Wellsian/Stapledonian idea that mankind can remake itself with science.

(ix) Paradise Lost influenced Lewis' Perelandra, James Blish's post-Lewis The Day After Judgement and Philip Pullman's anti-Lewis His Dark Materials.

(x) So far, we have:

an ancient Biblical tradition;
a modern science fictional tradition;
continued Biblical themes and references in fiction;
a science fictional defense of Biblical belief by CS Lewis.

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