C.S. Lewis on “2001: A Space Odyssey”

Here’s Michael Leary with a few thoughts on how C.S. Lewis helps us understand 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The best extant commentary on 2001: A Space Odyssey from an intentionally theological perspective hails from the conclusion of C.S. Lewis, essay Is Theology Poetry‚ in the seldom read Weight of Glory collection. The essay is just a reprint of a lecture given at Oxford in 1944 (no doubt in a mahogany cased room with crumpled carpets smelling of rain and tea), a full 25 years before Kubrick’s 2001. I am not the biggest fan of Lewis’ science fiction literature, finding it somewhat too overt in its allegorical self-awareness to match the sheer readability of L’Engle, Chesterton, or other Christian sci-fi provocateurs, but apparently his grasp of how science fiction relates to theology (and specifically Lewis’ conception of theology as mythmaking) was well developed…

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • http://stevepa.wordpress.com/ stevepa

    How prescient that you posted this particular comment just hours after Arthur C. Clarke was reported to have died.


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