Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Religion And Imagination II

Several authors address the issues mentioned in Religion And Imagination.

Robert Hugh Benson (Catholic)
the authors of the Left Behind series (Evangelical)
CS Lewis (Anglican)

James Blish
Poul Anderson
(I think that SM Stirling belongs on this list with Blish and Anderson but will, of course, revise the list if I am advised to the contrary.)

I am out of sympathy with Benson and the "Left Behind" guys and do not want to discuss them further here. I gather from his Wiki article that Benson, like Lewis, consciously wrote anti-Wellsian sf.

Lewis knew how to write mythologically:

"'In those days Maleldil will go to war - in us, and in many who once were hnau on your world, and in many from far off and in many eldila, and, last of all, in Himself unveiled, He will go down to Thulcandra.'"
-CS Lewis, Perelandra IN Lewis, The Cosmic Trilogy (London, 1990), pp. 145-348 AT p. 338.

In The Game Of Empire, Anderson gives fair treatment to Fr Axor as he does to all his characters even when we know for certain that he disagrees with them. In his time travel works, he could have presented an account of the origin of Christianity but avoids this issue.

SM Stirling's Emberverse series has a Church Universal and Triumphant but I have not read that far yet.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Noted, what you said about Robert Hugh Benson. I'll only say that, from what I read from looking him up, was a major "second generation" (after Verne and Wells) writer of SF. And I did read one of his books long ago, the historical novel COME RACK! COME ROPE! (but not his LORD OF THE WORLD). Critics consider LORD OF THE WORLD one of the earliest dystopian novels.

Yes, the impression I get of S.M. Stirling is that he is at least an agnostic. But, a friendly one not at all hostile to Christianity. In fact, I'm sure you recall how a major character in UNDER THE YOKE was the Polish nun Sister Marya. And the Draka had only fear and hatred for Christianity (other religions did not cause so strong a reaction in them).

I emphatically agree with what you said about Anderson treated very fairly his characters--even those holding views we know PA disagreed with. One of the few categories of persons Anderson did not use for major characters were the Nazis. I can't recall him having characters who were Nazis. Which is no surprise, considering how strongly he despised National Socialism.

And I'll be very curious to know what you think of the Church Universal and Triumphant!