John_G._West
Reviews

That Hideous Absolutism

To the modern mind, religion and magic are related.  Both are based on superstition, and both have been proved false by science.  C.S. Lewis thought otherwise: Magic is more closely related to science.  Both function as alternatives to religion, both lack skepticism, and, most importantly, both desire to control the world.  Science, not religion, is magic’s twin.

These are the basic themes of this book, which is a collection of 13 pieces written by scholars in law, the liberal arts, theology, and journalism.  The book is divided into four parts, examining Lewis’s views on the relationships of science to scientism, evolution, reason, and society.

The first section begins with a chapter on Lewis’s critique of scientism—the desire to apply the scientific method to every domain of life.  Lewis believed the application of reductionist scientific laws worked well in the material realm but created havoc when applied to people and society.  Lewis spent much of his later career, beginning in World War II, decrying the misapplication of science to society, an error he believed would lead to the “abolition of man.”

M.D. Aeschliman’s “C.S. Lewis and Mere Science” underscores Lewis’s belief that science is a subset of reason.  Lewis warned against the tendency of people to view science as...

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