Cosmic warfare: changing models of the universe and C.S. Lewis's defence of truth and meaning

Adam, Brenda (2016) Cosmic warfare: changing models of the universe and C.S. Lewis's defence of truth and meaning. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

C.S. Lewis's interests and arguments range widely across the arts and the sciences. He noted the transience of models of the universe and described them as representations of current knowledge; composites of science, philosophy, theology and culture. He observed how they communicate meaning and influence popular thinking, and used them as a backdrop to his art. This thesis is an analytical and interpretive reading of his worldview expressed in various genres. His fantasy stories are evidence of his claim that the imaginative man within him was older and more basic than the religious writer or critic. The research investigates his fusion of intellect and imagination for dialectic, aesthetic, ethical and spiritual ends, at a time of conflict and uncertainty. Against the tide of materialism and secularism, Lewis set out to explain and clarify Christian cosmology as a rational alternative to the seemingly purposeless and meaningless emptiness of Space. Models are big picture metaphors and the research explores Lewis's prolific use of metaphor, intrinsic to his method in elucidating the complexities of philosophy and theology to the wider public. The thesis does not attempt to fit him into a particular theoretical framework, in deference to his many-sided approach to various subjects, and his dislike of restrictive labels. The 'warfare' theme in the thesis title relates to Lewis's engagement with progressive philosophies and man-centred epistemologies. The aggressive tactics of 'New Atheism' in the twenty-first century have given his apologetic texts even greater relevance. His books and essays challenge the assumed 'conflict narrative' regarding science and religion, encouraging dialogue rather than inflammatory rhetoric. His arguments speak for themselves, not as relics of a past age but as valuable insights into the issues of the here and now.

Item ID: 52960
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Christian cosmology, conflict narrative, fantasy, intellect, language, Lewis, C.S., metaphor, New Atheism, progressive philosophies, science and religion, universe
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2018 05:06
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200503 British and Irish Literature @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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