978-0-345-43959-8 / 9780345439598

God's Funeral: A Biography of Faith and Doubt in Western Civilization


Publisher:Ballantine Books



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About the book:

In the course of the nineteenth century, the idea of God became unknowable and then impossible. Scottish philosopher David Hume had wittily but devastatingly kicked away the logical underpinnings of Christian theology a hundred years before; Nietzsche then declared God dead; and Thomas Hardy, through his poetry, presided glumly over his funeral.

And yet, as award-winning novelist and biographer A. N. Wilson asserts in this dazzling synthesis of biography and intellectual history, "The God-question does not go away." Despite passionate, intensely logical arguments against the existence of God, the need for faith endures. While Sir Charles Lyell demonstrated that the book of Genesis laughably contradicted the facts of geology, splendid new churches rose in the cities of the West. Marx, Engels, and Freud rocked the very foundations of public and private life by positing the new atheistic "religions" of socialism and psychology, yet these revolutionary dogmas opened an abyss that still blights our spiritual landscape today. At once illuminating and anecdotal, rigorous and bracing, God's Funeral is a contemporary masterpiece, a profoundly important book about the emergence of a new imaginative order.

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