Solace In The Midst of Turmoil
Many theorists have taken interest in religion for their fascination of its power to influence and shape human personality, behavior and action. Thomas Hobbes is one philosopher who attributed people’s clinging to religion as a logical alternative to find an acceptable explanation for things that are beyond their comprehension such as creation, the nature of things and ethics among others. Earlier philosophers adhered that the conception of religion is an inherent predilection of rational beings such that if lions and oxen have hands and feet, they too would conceive of a god that would look like a lion or an ox. In the Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, one of the major themes of the novel is the evolution of a new religion called “Earthseed” espoused by the main protagonist of the story Lauren Olamina. Unlike most other religions, Earthseed is devoid of reference to a supernatural being but placed emphasis and pertinence on natural forces as God. Set in a dystopian future in America, Earthseed was conceived out of the social and psychological needs of the people in the story as a means to find meaning and survive in life. Religion is an encompassing and important cultural phenomenon that evolved from the psychological and social circumstances of the people as reflected in the individual stories of the members of Olamina’s Earthseed religion. The Parable of the Sower is therefore a story that demonstrated that religion is a purely human conception that evolved out of human needs for the purpose of serving human issues. It develops in response to people’s deep psychological and social distress for the purpose of easing anguish and finding an evolutionary strategy to survive. If there is anything most conspicuous in the Parable of the Sower, it is the dystopia, which sets the context of the story and the evolution of the new religion, Earthseed. Butler’s novel envisages the anarchic future in America characterized by...
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