Madeleine L’Engle, whose brilliant mind birthed the timeless “A Wrinkle Before Time” story, was not as well-loved before as she is today. Back in 1962 when her book was published, she immediately caught the attention of many conservative Christians for the concept of her book.
It also went through hurdle after hurdle to be taken seriously by both critics and parents who decried how “complicated” it was for children. The problem that stood out the most, of course, was the book’s problem with religion.
As history website History.com reports, during the book's release, people called it out for bringing science and religion at a crossroads.
Professor of literacy education at the University of Minnesota, Marek Oziewicz, told History that the particular sore spot for the church regarding L’Engle’s book was the fact that it was “a vision of Christianity as a form of science, and science as a form of search for spirituality.”
If you’re the traditional conservative, you’re probably aware of the fact that religious people are really iffy when it comes to science. And because L’Engle played around with the idea that perhaps science and religion were not so unlike each other, conservatives were quick to question her book.
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Oziewicz said that L’Engle’s understanding was that eventually, Christianity will find a harmonious connection with modern science. She believed that “newly discovered parts of the universe didn’t represent a challenge to the Bible. Rather, she viewed them as part of God’s creation.”
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Not many people were impressed by her point of view and this was only made worse by the fact that conservatives at the time zeroed in on the three characters of the book who served as the main characters: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which.
The church said this creative decision that L’Engle went with was her effort of conflating Christianity with the occult. The way Oziewicz sees it, L’Engle was only calling attention to the “heresy of love,” or the “belief that Christians incorrectly placed exclusions on God’s love.”