The past and `Discontinuity in Religion' in Octavia Butler's parables: A feminist theological perspective

Achachelooei, Elham Mohammadi and Leon, Carol Elizabeth (2021) The past and `Discontinuity in Religion' in Octavia Butler's parables: A feminist theological perspective. Journal of Language, Literature and Culture, 68 (2). pp. 120-137. ISSN 2051-2856, DOI

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This article employs feminist theologian Daphne Hampson's notion of `discontinuity in religion' to explore the concept of the past in Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower (2007) and Parable of the Talents (2007). Focusing on the activities of a black heroine who appears as a reformer who revives her dead society, this article argues that the novels reflect a posthuman, post-Biblical aspect of renovation by discarding the past which is envisioned as a paralysing obsession in these texts. The renovation in the novels is done through a kind of discontinuity in particular Christian principles, substituting them with a new doctrine of thought. The introduction of this new belief called Earthseed, confronts those principles that render Christianity a religion with roots in the past, and offers a way of being and thinking which goes against the religious, sexual, racial and classist dimensions of life founded on exclusively Christian doctrine. The aim of this article is to investigate the new social order emerging from this alternative system of belief. This is important because it brings to the fore a constructive and liberating concept of change which, challenging Butler's negative view, reveals the capacity of the new system to create a utopian world.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Octavia Butler; Parable of the Sower; Parable of the Talents; past; discontinuity in religion
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of English
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 07:42
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2022 07:43

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