“A fourfold vision: Nature religion and the wages of scientism in Ursula K. Le Guins ‘Newton’s sleep’”

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number279
JournalReligions
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2018

Keywords

  • Biophilia
  • Enlightenment
  • Gaia hypothesis
  • Nature religion
  • Romantic movement
  • Scientism
  • Sublime
  • Technological nature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies

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