Consolations of a New Earth

Clemens Cavallin


In a marginalized group, personal suffering is inescapably united to excluding social and political structures and situa- tions. To provide consolation to an individual then also in- volves showing a way of how the group can escape its painful predicament, which in early Christianity took the form of an end times confrontation between good and evil; and the emer- gence of new heavens and a new earth. In science fiction litera- ture, a variant on this theme of cosmic regeneration is the escape to an earth-like planet with the help of an interstellar space ship. An interesting recent case of such an offer of conso- lation in outer space is the novel, Voyage to Alpha Centauri, by Michael O’Brien, a contemporary Canadian author. The story is a commentary on the marginalization of traditional, especially Catholic, Christianity, and the growing strength of a liberal secular order.

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