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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Canticle for Leibowitz -- A Lenten Read

Recently, I became aware of the Walter Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz written in 1961 and winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel. It is a post-apocalyptic tale of the world reemerging from the dark ages after a nuclear war. The book in a sense retells the past two thousand years of world history. The book is set in a Roman Catholic monastery in the desert, southwest in Utah. The monks take up the task of preserving mankind's knowledge for future generations. The book is divided into three novellas: Fiat Homo (Let there be man), Fiat Lux (Let there be light), and Fiat Voluntas Tua (Let your will be done). 

The opening line of the book begins, "Brother Francis Gerard of Utah might never have discovered the blessed documents, had it not been for the pilgrim with girded loins who appeared during the young novice's Lenten fast in the desert."

Since A Canticle for Leibowitz begins during Lent, I thought I would read the book in Lent. The book usually is seen in terms of science versus religion. The final section of the book deals with euthanasia. I am interested in the theological themes of the book and intend to write a review/theological reflections generated by the book in a few weeks.

Read it with me and check back in a few weeks for the review/theological reflections.

1 comment:

  1. One of my all-time favorites. It's been many moons since I've read it. We're already well into Lent, but maybe I will indeed pick it up (if I can find my copy) and read it with you.