Significance of God in Literature.

Author:Nugent, Pauline

Human achievements in the field of science have astounded us with the immensity of the universe and the myriads of heavenly bodies that continue to underscore the infinitesimal dimensions of our own home, planet Earth. But while the wonder of this celestial magnificence is often dimmed by the drabness of daily life, our innate sense of the transcendent impels us to account for the grandeur of God in a warped world. In an era as turbulent as ours, we seek to integrate our fragmented existence and to mend the rift between the wonders of science and the realm of the spirit. Given the ever-expanding scientific frontiers, a sense of doubt often shrouds our efforts to articulate our encounter with the divine. In our sophisticated 21st century where life is dominated by technology and science, it is refreshing for the human spirit to bask in those peek moments that come to us throughout literature--both secular and religious--when eternity invades time and the human mind is recreated by a sense of the divine. These moments are not likely to make the headlines in our popular press. Instead, we are more apt to be dazzled by the September 15, (2017) global announcements of the demise of NASA's Cassini spacecraft in a blaze of cosmic glory after an equally sensational twenty-year journey to the planet Saturn; or by the previously inconceivable discoveries in science such as those that blared across the national news in USA Today (June 4, 2017). In the latter instance the headlines screamed:

Gravitational Waves Found Again, 3B Light-Years Away. These strange undulations, the article explained, resulted from the collision of two black holes that merged, releasing energy that created the gravitational ripples that we are now 'seeing', but which actually happened three billion years ago. Scientists tell us that the mass of the newly formed black hole is approximately 49 times that of our sun. We do not know the precise location of this gigantic marvel, but the experts say it is roughly 3 billion light-years away in a distant galaxy. Furthermore, they explain that what we are seeing now actually happened 3 billion years ago. Even a society as jaded and blase as ours is aroused from its lethargy by discoveries such as these. As science unearths new wonders of nature--whether in the vast expanses of outer space or in the mysterious and fertile depths of our oceans--such marvels are surely among the dearest freshness deep down things, that remind us in the words of the poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, that the world is charged with the grandeur of God. A new sense of jubilant exhilaration may spring from the joy of being a participant--a type of vicarious explorer, as it were, in the unfolding discovery of our universe. But we may also experience concomitantly an overwhelming trepidation, occasioned by the vastness of the universe that dwarfs our human stature. Bedazzled by such wonders, we tend to place our hopes and aspirations in these new gods, and demand that they satisfy our deepest longings and aspirations. Frequently, the euphoria of this celestial grandeur is dimmed by the drabness of life on our planetary home, and soon a sense of transcendence intrudes to disturb our earthly paradise and compels us to seek the integration of our fragmented human existence, so characteristic of our 21st. century living. This disquietude invites us to ponder ever more profoundly the philosophical questions that address the meaning and purpose of human life. Literature is replete with examples of that ennui of spirit that repeatedly summons humanity to re-learn the deeper purpose of human existence and to establish a more meaningful attitude and way of...

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