Science Fiction and The Abolition of Man

Science Fiction and The Abolition of Man


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The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis's masterpiece in ethics and the philosophy of science, warns of the danger of combining modern moral skepticism with the technological pursuit of human desires. The end result is the final destruction of human nature. From Brave New World to Star Trek, from steampunk to starships, science fiction film has considered from nearly every conceivable angle the same nexus of morality, technology, and humanity of which C. S. Lewis wrote. As a result, science fiction film has unintentionally given us stunning depictions of Lewis's terrifying vision of the future. In Science Fiction Film and the Abolition of Man, scholars of religion, philosophy, literature, and film explore the connections between sci-fi film and the three parts of Lewis's book: how sci-fi portrays ""Men without Chests"" incapable of responding properly to moral good, how it teaches the Tao or ""The Way,"" and how it portrays ""The Abolition of Man.""

""Though The Abolition of Man is one of Lewis's shortest books, it is also one of the most important and influential. This interesting collection of essays shows how the perceptive critiques and prescient warnings found in Abolition resound tellingly in many science fiction films and TV shows. A valuable and thought-provoking volume.""
--Michael Ward, Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford
""Students of C. S. Lewis and fans of science fiction alike will find their understanding of today's and tomorrow's world enriched, and likely chastened, by this thought-provoking collection of essays.""
--Charles T. Rubin, author of Eclipse of Man
""Here we have an engaging, accessible, and highly relevant collection of essays on how science fiction at its best portrays our possible subhuman future.""
--Peter Lawler, Dana Professor of Political Science, Berry College
""Science fiction is often a kind of sociological exploration. Science Fiction and the Abolition of Man demonstrates this clearly. The diverse interpretations demonstrate why sociological explorations of sci-fi are always journeys worth taking."" 
--John Tenuto, Professor of Sociology, College of Lake Count
""Science fiction films have warned for decades: the purveyors of scientific technologies may promise a better and happier world, but in a culture bereft of orientation to goodness beyond ourselves, they can only provide different worlds--crafted at their whim, and often morally dangerous and profoundly unhappy. These delightful essays, by clarifying that warning through the lens of classic moral psychology, send us back to those great films with new eyes and, more importantly, refreshed hearts for goodness.""
--Robert B. Kruschwitz, Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University

Mark J. Boone is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Forman Christian College. He is the author of The Conversion and Therapy of Desire: Augustine's Theology of Desire in the Cassiciacum Dialogues (Pickwick, 2016).
Kevin C. Neece is a speaker on media, the arts, and pop culture from a Christian worldview perspective. He is the author of The Gospel according to Star Trek (Cascade, 2016).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498232340
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 12/13/2016
Pages: 358
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Brian Godawa xi

List of Contributors xix

1 Introduction: Finding C. S. Lewis in Science Fiction Film and Television Mark J. Boone 1

Part 1 Men without Chests

2 Monster in the Mirror: The Problem with Technology is the Problem with Us Mark Eckel 25

3 Vulcans without Chests: Spiritual Disorders Portrayed in Star Trek Lewis Pearson 39

4 To Seek Out New Virtue: Lewis, the Tao, and the Prime Directive Deanna Smid 56

5 Between the Good and the Evil Samaritan: Person of Interest in Light of C. S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man Artur Skweres 73

6 "You Have Nowhere to Go": Alienated Communication and Social Control in THX 1138 James Driscoll 87

7 A Vision of Transcendence: Monstrous Intelligence and Loving Understanding Wm. Travis Coblentz 104

8 The Failure of Men without Chests in Blade Runner Mark D. Sadler 121

Part 2 The Way

9 Technology and the Emotional Spectrum in Green Lantern: The Animated Series Scott Shiffer 137

10 The Tree Before the Branches: Virtue and Rebellion in Contemporary Science Fiction Thomas Britt 148

11 Beauty in Rust: Steampunk Distinctives in Shane Acker's 9 Jaclyn Young Parrish 162

12 Reclaiming Virtue and (Post)Humanity in Moon Linda Wight 178

13 Terraforming the Human Soul: Star Trek's Genesis Device and the Ethical Cultivation of Creation Kevin C. Neece 192

Part 3 The Abolition of Man

14 A Prison of Our Own Making Thomas Veale 209

15 The Dangers of the Materialist Magician Louis Markos 228

16 The Abolition of Risk: C. S. Lewis in the The island and Gattuea Janelle L. Aijian 237

17 Technoctatic Death Denial as Disavowal of Life: Lessons from Brave New World and The Abolition of Man Mike Alvarez 251

18 Never Let Me Go and The Abolition of Man Christina Schneider 264

19 The Oppression of a Young Healthy Body in Logan's Run and The Clonus Horror Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns Canela Ailen Rodriguez Fontao Juan ignacio Juvé 277

20 Does Forgiveness Just Happen?: Eternal Sunshine, of the Spotless Mind and Lewis's "Last Step" Nathan Gilmour 294

21 "Flawed, Weak, Organic": Star Trek's Borg and the Abolition of Man Geoffrey Reiter 307

A Very Short Appendix of Recommended Reading 327

Index of films and directors 331

General index 333

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