Is God in Charge? Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow, Deconstruction and Theodicy.
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Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow leads the reader to wrestle with how evil, pain, and suffering are explained in theodicy and thus grapples with "the risks and beauties of religious faith." The sparrow of the novel's title refers to the insignificant sparrow of Matthew 10:29-31 that is observed and known by God in its fall to earth. In this speculative fiction novel, the Jesuits hear beautiful music transmitted from another planet and send a mission to meet God's other children. The meeting ends disastrously. Russell encourages us, through the device of the mission, to reflect on our understanding of how God's will works in the universe.
The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture