Friday, 16 December 2016

Fiction And Propaganda

HG Wells wrote:

science fiction;
science fiction with a political message;
political propaganda;
one theological work.

CS Lewis wrote:

Christian propaganda;
science fiction with a religious message.

Poul Anderson wrote science fiction that addressed political and religious issues.

Thesis, antithesis and synthesis.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And these days H.G. Wells is remembered almost wholly for his science fictional works. Most of the stuff he wrote after abandoning SF are dated, partisan political tracts only his biographers will look up today.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "Christian propaganda" written by C.S. Lewis. Works like MERE CHRISTIANITY are generally classified as "apologetics." Is that what you meant?

Poul Anderson wrote so well that most of his SF remains admirably readable, even if some is now dated, such as BRAIN WAVE. But I did find interesting the early 1950's "period" touches in that book. And, yes, he took seriously the religious and political beliefs of his characters.

Merry Christmas! Sean

Paul Shackley said...

"Apologetics" is reasoned defense of a religious belief. "Propaganda" is the propagation of a belief or idea. So I think that MERE CHRISTIANITY etc were both.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

That I can agree with, both a reasoned defense and an advocate's argument. One Catholic apologetics work I found very admirable indeed was Fr. John Chapman's BISHOP GORE AND 'THE CATHOLIC CLAIMS.' It was pub. somewhere around 1904, so not many will remember it today. But I would call it both a reasoned defense of the Catholic Church and "propaganda" in the sense you gave that word.

Btw, Fr. Chapman was considered the finest Catholic Biblical scholar of the first half of the 20th century.

Merry Christmas! Sean