From Publishers Weekly
Schweizer, an associate professor of English at Long Island University (see InProfile in this issue), dissects the contemporary guard of angry atheists (Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris et al.) by placing the phenomenon in historical and literary context to show roots and development. He likes the term "misotheism" to capture the virulence of the god-haters and draws mostly from misotheists from 1800 onward, though he looks at the book of Job. Most god-haters (including Shelley, Camus, and Zora Neale Hurston, whose inclusion might surprise some) have used literature to articulate and disguise their briefs against a divinity they blame for suffering, catastrophe, and/or mass slaughter. Schweizer's textual readings are close and careful. Some figures he concentrates on are less than compelling choices; nobody reads Swinburne anymore except graduate students of English. This book provides a useful reminder that a long history of cursing God precedes the present vogue--and society has not yet collapsed from the corrosive effects of angry atheism. (Nov.)
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"In Hating God
, Bernard Schweizer distinguishes between atheists---those who conclude from the arbitrary and cruel acts of God that he does not exist---and misotheists---those who believe in God but engage in a life-long struggle with his apparent indifference to the world he has created. It is misotheists, those who wrestle with God in the manner of Jacob and Job, who create the rich literary tradition Schweizer so persuasively illuminates in this important book."--Stanley Fish, author of The Fugitive in Flight: Faith, Liberalism, and Law in a Classic TV Show
"Bernard Schweizer makes a long overdue distinction between atheism -- the denial of God's existence -- and misotheism -- the morally inspired hatred of God, and, in the process, reintroduces us to some of the most subversive religious thinkers who have ever lived, from Friedrich Nietzsche to Gore Vidal and Zora Neale Hurston. Hating God is one of the most exhilarating excursions into religious studies that you will ever take!"
--Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America
"Schweizer skilfully plumbs pathology and pathos among real and imagined agonizers."--The Journal of Theological Studies