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696 CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE in Lewis' writings without encountering his distaste for many aspects of modern science, philosophy, and literature. Perhaps Schwartz would see these instances as a rhetorical stance on Lewis' part, but this claim is one that would seem to require more evidence before we accept it wholesale. His reading of ThatHideousStrength is also insightful, especially his suggestion that what Lewis transposes or "takes up" is the Gothic genre, which itself is a parody of Medieval Romance. This approach has numerous interpretive strengths; yet, it was not clear,to this reader at least, how the approach demonstrates the essential unity or sequencing related to developmental theories that is one of the book's key premises. Overall, Schwartz does an admirable job of arguing and supporting his thesis. In the process, he illuminates the plot, structure, themes, and unity of the Space Trilogy in a way that will be valuable for readers of Lewis' science fiction. The book is well researched and exhaustively documented. For me, some of the most intriguing parts were those that dealt with Ransom as the hero of all three novels and his moral crises as important unifying elements in the structure and themes of the Trilogy.At the same time, I found Schwartz's efforts to fit ThatHideousStrength into the patterns of character and structure identified in the first two novels to be somewhat forced, not least because Ransom's character seems to take a backseat in the finale when compared to his central role in the first two books. Still this reservation is minor compared to the overall success ofSchwartz's argument, which is well supported and which makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of and appreciation for Lewis' achievement as a writer of science fiction and as a Christian intellectual responding to the cultural currents of his time. Gary 1. Tandy George Fox University Absence ofMind: The Dispelling ofInwardnessfrom the Modern Myth ofthe Self. ByMarilynne Robinson. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-300-14518-2. Pp. ix + 158. $24.00. Most know Marilynne Robinson from her novels Housekeeping, Gilead, and Home. However, following in the genre of her 2005 work The Death of Adam, Robinson's most recent work, Absenceof Mind, is a collection of essays-given as Yale University's Dwight H. Terry Foundation Lectures on Religion in the Light of Science and Philosophy-which "examine one side in the venerable controversy called the conflict between science and religion, in order to question the legitimacy ofthe claim itsexponents make to speak with the authority of science and in order to raise questions about the quality of thought that lies behind it" (ix). The exponents of science that Robinson has in mind are writers who view science through the lens of influential thinkers of the early modern period, which sets science against the BOOK REVIEWS 697 claims of religion. Absence ofMind is an analytical look at such attempts to dismiss religion in the name of science. Robinson's strength is her ability to be critical of thinkers who present a conception of humanity that is limited and insufficient. Robinson questions not the method of science "but the methods of a kind of argument that claims the authority of science or highly specialized knowledge, that assumes a protective coloration that allows it to pass for science yet does not practice the self-discipline or self-criticism for which science is distinguished" (2). Robinson has in mind sociologists, evolutionary psychologists, and even philosophers who believe religion creates a proneness to delusion. Bertrand Russell,for example, argues that anyone who believes the world had a beginning only contributes to the "poverty of our imagination" (13) and he, therefore, need not waste his time even refuting arguments for a First Cause. Russell's comment, which is common rhetoric today among atheistic evolutionists like Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, not only fails to utilize scientific investigation as a method, but also "tends to reduce it [religion] to a matter of bones and feathers and Wishful thinking, a matter of rituals and social bonding and false etiologies and the fear of death, and this makes its persistence very annoying to them...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 696-700
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-14
Open Access
No
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