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Religions 2018, 9(9), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090279

“A Fourfold Vision: Nature Religion and the Wages of Scientism in Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘Newton’s Sleep’”

Department of Religious Studies, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue So Say We All: Religion and Society in Science Fiction)
Full-Text   |   PDF [212 KB, uploaded 15 September 2018]

Abstract

Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1991 short story ‘Newton’s Sleep’ begins in a utopic society that escaped the environmental and social calamity of a near-future Earth and created an enlightened culture on a space station. The group, led by a scientific elite, pride themselves on eradicating the irrational prejudices and unempirical mentality that hamstringed Earth; but chaos blossoms as the society struggles with the reappearance of religious intolerance, and becomes confused by an outbreak of mass hallucinations of the Earth they left behind. This narrative trope of the necessity of nature for the survival of humanity—physically, mentally, and spiritually—represents a new and relatively common allegory in contemporary science fiction in an era distinguished by separation from the natural world. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature religion; scientism; Enlightenment; Romantic movement; sublime; biophilia; Gaia hypothesis; technological nature nature religion; scientism; Enlightenment; Romantic movement; sublime; biophilia; Gaia hypothesis; technological nature
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Newell, C.L. “A Fourfold Vision: Nature Religion and the Wages of Scientism in Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘Newton’s Sleep’”. Religions 2018, 9, 279.

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