1) Early in the novel, we discover that the narrator majored in religious studies and zoology, with particular interests in a sixteenth-century Kabbalist and the admirable three-toed sloth. In subsequent chapters, he explains the ways in which religions and zoos are both steeped in illusion. Discuss some of the other ways in which these two fields find unlikely compatibility.
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This is very much a thematic question of science and religion. The theme of science and religion as not opposed but in concert with each other is present primarily in the framing of the narrative. It is exemplified in Pi’s dual major at the University of Toronto of Religion and Zoology, which he admits he sometimes gets mixed up, seeing the sloth that he studied as a reminder of God’s miracles. Similarly, Pi’s favorite teacher, Mr. Kumar, sees the zoo as the temple of his atheism. The theme of the connection between science and religion also is related to Pi’s respect for atheists, because he sees that they worship science as he worships God, which he believes is not so very different.