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C. S. Lewis on the Final FrontierScience and the Supernatural in the Space Trilogy$
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Sanford Schwartz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195374728

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374728.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Darwin in Deep Heaven

Chapter:
(p.3) Introduction
Source:
C. S. Lewis on the Final Frontier
Author(s):

Sanford Schwartz (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374728.003.0001

The Introduction situates Lewis’s Space Trilogy in the context of the 1930s and surveys the distinctive features of this study, suggesting that contrary to his self-styled image as an intellectual “dinosaur,” Lewis is at once deeply engaged with the modern evolutionary paradigm and eager to explore the pioneering insights that arose in its wake. In each successive novel Lewis targets a different version of the developmental model—the “materialist” (Darwinian) view in the first story; the “vitalist” (Bergsonian) philosophy in the sequel; and the “spiritual” (Babelian) dream of the evolutionary ascent of Man into God in the finale. At the same time, each of Lewis’s providentially governed communities—the “unfallen” worlds of Mars and Venus and the terrestrial manor of St. Anne’s, respectively—is constructed not as the polar opposite but as the transfiguration or “taking up” of the specific evolutionary doctrine to which it stands opposed.

Keywords:   Babelian, Bergsonian, Darwinian, developmental model, evolutionary paradigm, transfiguration, unfallen worlds

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