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Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (The Terry Lectures Series) Kindle Edition
|Length: 200 pages|
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Top Customer Reviews
Eagleton sees the neo-atheist movement as a reaction to the resurgence of Islamic and Christian fundamentalism after 9-11, and he sees that reaction as largely obtuse, both intellectually and psychologically. Eagleton, for example, sees real value in the Bible, and in the story of Jesus in particular, and what it can teach us about life and social change. Eagleton's readings of the Ten Commandments and the story of Jesus were especially dazzling, and illustrated his point that one needn't throw the religious/mythic babies out with the fundamentalist bathwater.
Eagleton is also an unreconstructed Marxist, which I think is a rather dubious intellectual position itself. Nevertheless, it gives him a vantage for making sharp and astute critiques of Ditchkins's complacency with regard to the role that capitalism and Modernism have played in creating a world of religious fundamentalist reactionaries. Eagleton sees fundamentalism as the West's psychological shadow---and points us to Euripides's Bakkhai as a play we would do well to study. In that play, King Pentheus treats Dionysus, who inhabits the borders of his realm, with enormous arrogance and without self-critical awareness, and the result is his own destruction.Read more ›
True, the "Ditchkins" make some good points. But their sloppy thinking, strident language, and dogmatic condescension are warning signs of an atheism bought "on the cheap." Their stock in trade includes vulgar caricatures of religion, an "abysmally crude [and] infantile version of what theology has traditionally maintained," ignorance, cultural supremacism, an "eminently suburban" love affair with the Enlightenment myth of liberal progress, the refusal to acknowledge that religion has done any good anywhere or that science has done any harm, and an either/or mentality that ignores ambiguity. They are defenders of the political status quo, and hardly the revolutionaries they purport to be.
Eagleton was raised as an Irish Roman Catholic in working-class England, and although he has been ambiguous about his own personal faith, he says that one reason he wrote this polemic was to defend the faith of his forbears as something worthy of a defense. Christendom has betrayed the truly revolutionary nature of original Christianity, he says, and so in addition to attacking the secular left he undertakes the Kierkegaardian task of distinguishing between the genuine article and its many counterfeits.Read more ›
I'm glad someone is pointing out that Dawkins leaps gleefully into a chasm of hypocrisy by attacking religion's crimes (which are many) while obtusely dismissing how science has enabled us to wreak havoc on one another. Eagleton romps from one end of the book to the other, slaughtering sacred cows, and is clearly enjoying himself.
Again, I don't claim to be an expert on textual analysis, but I'm seeing a lot of misfires in the reviews section here. It's a very nuanced style, and sometimes you have to slow down quite a bit to grasp what he's saying. For example, there is not, in fact, any indication that Eagleton thinks Hitchens is a closet Marxist. If anything, Eagleton repeatedly confirms the man's strident and misbegotten *fascism*. Which dovetails into his argument about how Enlightenment values can end up producing the opposite of the intended effect.
Then there's the matter of taking seriously such cast-off, joking comments such as the one he makes about the phases of the moon. For some reason, people are latching on to this as a confirmation of some character flaw. They are elevating it beyond the confines of the statement; erasing the ambiguous humor from the page because a certain interpretation allows them to dismiss more serious statements elsewhere. That's intellectually dissonant.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Eagleton is an amazing combination of Catholic believer and Marxist. He derides much of what Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens write, disrespectfully calling them... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Geoff Crocker
In this short work, originally given as lectures at Yale University, Eagelton, hardly a believer, turns his gimlet gaze upon three of the Four Horsemen (Richard Dawkins,... Read morePublished 21 months ago by John R. Robison
I was expecting a whole lot more substance. It was mostly smoke with little fire. I guess "reflections" in the title should have warned me that it was off the cuff and... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Michael D. Bogar
I love the topics covered but prepare yourself for a form of ranting that is more like a dialogue with a brilliant intellectual over four cups of espresso. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Paul Gordon Renigar Jr
I highlighted passages in this book that I have reread dozens of times. I have a much more profound understanding of Christianity and faith than I did before I began.Published on December 27, 2013 by Jeffry Gonzalez
Terry Eagleton is a sharp witted and well read author who has engaged in the God debate with fellow Oxford alums Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I receive the recommendation to read this book from an academic friend who saw it as a good short read on the "God debate" in its modern form. Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by MJ
The Booklist description in the Editorial Reviews for this book is very accurate. This book is a brilliant and telling put-down of fundamentalism in various forms: the... Read morePublished on December 1, 2012 by Illyrialady
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