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This paper explores the role which death plays in the narrative of C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy. During the time of the trilogy’s composition, materialist philosophy was becoming increasingly popular in the Western world as individuals looked to science as the source of absolute truth. As a former materialist, Lewis was alarmed by this development and confronted materialist ideology in numerous fiction and non-fiction works.

Blending textual evidence from the trilogy with scholarly commentary, this paper demonstrates that Lewis uses death, particularly the fear of annihilation and the afterlife which it evokes, to bypass materialist assertions of the atheistic nature of reality in order to argue for the acceptance of the Christian faith. The efficacy of death as a rhetorical tool is most clearly demonstrated by the ideological development of Dr. Ransom, Weston, and the National Institute for Coordinated Experiments, who set materialism aside as they confront the concept of life beyond the grave.