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What is the central idea of "The Star"?  

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carlosenciso11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM via web

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What is the central idea of "The Star"?

 

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM (Answer #1)

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Perhaps the central theme of this excellent story is the way in which science is placed in conflict with religion. The narrator, who is a very religious individual, has desired to prove that religion and science are not mutually exclusive. His perspective is that science only helps to point us towards the existence of God and his religious faith is based in the saving work of Jesus Christ. However, the massive supernova that explodes, annihiliating a sentient race of humanoids is shown to be the star of Bethelehem.

This forces the narrator to experience massive doubt in his beliefs. How could the star that signalled the salvation of humans result in the death of another entire species? Such questions seem to point towards a chaotic universe that has no reason to it and relies on mere chance to determine its fate. If he were to publish and announce his findings, it would only serve to increase the skepticism of a public concerning the compatibility of religion and God. The divide between these two forces is therefore demonstrated through the narrator's own person as he desperately struggles to reconcile this new piece of evidence.

 

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