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Nudity in The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis

Nudity in The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

C.S. Lewis wrote a series of three science fiction novels known as The Space Trilogy.

Out of the Silent Planet (1938), Perelandria: A Novel (1943), and That Hideous Strength: A Modern Fairy-Tale for Grown-ups (1945) are the three works in the series.

All three at least were free with Audible Plus when I picked them up late last year, and I just finished listening to the last of them yesterday afternoon while building a new desk for my office at work.

Fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and Clive Staple’s non-fiction works on Christianity will find in these a more adult tone and tenor than the children’s literature likely conditioned them to expect.

And among the features which highlights this fact most for me is the presence of casual nudity. It is apparently not fashionable to travel through space with clothes on.

But this reminds me of taking Intro to the Humanities at Cedarville University back in 2006. I will never forget Dr. Clevenger’s handout on nudity in art, born of many years experience with students and their parents coming to him complaining of all the wholly and partially unclothed human forms in Classical and Renaissance art studied in the course.

This then brings the question to my mind about Lewis’s Space Trilogy. If it were made into a TV series or series of movies, would conservative Christians watch?

Already I envision a campaign against public indecency which might arise if the on-screen portrayals match the books. And I am already imagining the stern calls for boycotting all of C.S. Lewis’ other works besides if he was willing to put out supposed smut in his science fiction.

But of course there is a bit more to it than that, and I think we do well to try and be Bereans about the whole affair. How much of our arguments for and against such things is firmly grounded in what God does and does not say in the Bible? And how much of our arguments stem more from vague and fuzzy notions stemming from mere human tradition and popular attitudes in our respective circles?

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