How is the religion in The Chrysalids similar to and different from Biblical Christianity?

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‘The Chrysalids’, a science-fiction novel written by John Wyndham, portrays a primitive society recovering from a nuclear explosion, known to them as the ‘Tribulation’, which they believe to be a judgement from God against mankind. Because of this particular belief, their society is bound and trapped by a mould of religion which focuses on atonement and purity. Although they claim to follow God’s law to the utmost strictness, instead of drawing whole truths from the Bible, the Waknuk community prefers to dissect segments of the Bible they deem to be necessary. Casting the majority of the Bible aside, they rely chiefly on a book called the ‘Nicholson’s Repentances’, which places a high value in physical appearances and the preservation of the ‘norm’. As a result, discrimination and condemnation merges with the faith that leaves no room for the compassion and mercy present in Christianity. Throughout the novel, the people of Waknuk have based their cause for faith and judgement in the so-called ‘true image’. According to their belief, man made in the image of God should have “one body, one head, two arms and two legs…” (pg 10), and anything more or less is “a blasphemy against the true Image of God.” (pg 13). However, many people, as a result of the nuclear fallout, suffer birth defects and are thus condemned to be ‘blasphemies’. In order to prevent another Tribulation, the people of Waknuk go to extreme lengths to preserve normality, going as far as killing or banishing ‘deviations’ to the uninhabitable Fringes. Their ritualistic fear of a second Tribulation and of the Devil seems to outweigh their innate ability to show compassion and love, dooming ‘blasphemies’ to lives of deprivation. Although the treatment and harsh judgements of ‘deviations’ are contrary to what the Bible teaches, the Waknuk society ignores this. Their religious bigotry overshadows any

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