It is my intention in this paper to define Butler’s Change God and illustrate how she created it to end oppression in all forms. It is important to start with a bit of background on Butler herself, sharing how her upbringing and experiences in life influenced her feelings about religion. These feelings are what encouraged writings such as the Parables, helping the reader to understand why Butler felt the need to create a new type of religion instead of making use of one that already existed. Next, I include an introduction to Butler’s journey as a Black science fiction writer. Breaking into a genre in which initially there were very few Black people, Butler used her voice to speak out against injustice, paving the way for Black science fiction writers for generations to come. Then I will outline the most important aspects of Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, focusing specifically on Earthseed (the religious belief system created by the main character in the books) and the God of Change. Many scholars have written on the Parable series; whereas many scholars see Butler as addressing singular forms of oppression, I build on the work of those who see her in more holistic terms. The focus here is to show how the God of Change is a God for everyone with a specific mission of directing humanity to reflect and rebuild. I argue that there are three key differences between the God of Change and the Baptist God: function, access, and relationship. These key differences are highlighted in the way believers and God use and respond to one another and are how Butler illustrates the God of Change as capable of serving humanity in a more direct and useful way. The inspiration for Earthseed is explored next; in explaining more about what Black Theology is, I argue that Butler used its fundamental values as inspiration in creating the God of Change. In conclusion, I explain the importance of recognizing how Butler’s God of Change is her creative way of eradicating oppression by gifting humanity with a God that grows along with it.
Dr. Emily D. Field, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Halina Adams, Committee Member
Dr. Ann Brunjes, Committee Member
Reid-X, Mercedes Alayna. (2022). Octavia E. Butler’s Earthseed and the God of Change. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 560. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/560
Copyright © 2022 Mercedes Alayna Reid-X