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The Fidelity of Betrayal: Towards a Church Beyond Belief Paperback – Bargain Price, May 6, 2008
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About the Author
More About the Author
Challenging the idea that faith concerns questions relating to belief Peter shows that an incendiary and irreligious reading of Christianity is possible: one that destroys the distinction between sacred and secular, blurs the lines between theism and atheism and sets aside questions regarding life after death to explore the possibility of a life before death.
This approach has been christened "pyrotheology," and aims at burning up the basic assumptions that both critics and advocates of religion hold concerning the life of faith.
Peter gained his higher education from Queens University, Belfast and has earned degrees (with distinction) in Scholastic Philosophy (BA Hons), Political Theory (MA) and Post-Structural thought (PhD). He is the author of numerous books, including Insurrection, The Idolatry of God and The Divine Magician. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, currently lives in LA and will die.
Top Customer Reviews
Here are a few initial comments related to the new book (not a review, just a few comments).
First, I think this book successfully builds upon the concepts in Rollins' first book and takes them to the next level. So if you're interested in Rollins' work, I recommend buying both books but starting with "How (Not) to Speak of God." Basically, "The Fidelity of Betrayal" builds on an idea Rollins started working with in the first book. In fact, he builds on the idea that most intrigued me in his first book - the notion of giving up Christianity in order to truly fulfill it. In his first book Rollins relates a powerful story from the movie "Amen" in which a priest in Nazi Germany gives up his Christian faith and becomes a Jew in order to identify with the persecuted, a move the priest believes is necessary in order to truly live his Christian faith. "The Fidelity of Betrayal" takes this concept and examines it through three lenses, the Word of God, the Being of God, and the Event of God, which forms the structure for the book.
Second, I'm convinced that Phyllis Tickle is right in her assessment of Rollins' work.Read more ›
The summation of Rollins' argument in this book is the profound and provocative statement: "In Christianity as a religion without religion one cannot make this distinction between one's actions and one's beliefs." (165) The Fidelity of Betrayal is a book that uses the catalysts of postmodern philosophy, narrative, and wonder to form a mystical framework for a Christianity beyond belief.
Though Christianity beyond belief may sound nebulous, Rollins does a fantastic job laying out his philosophically nuanced arguments in a captivating and easy to understand way.
The heart of Rollins argument is that the idea of Christian religious belief has been co-opted by academics, a way of fixing the problem of Christian theology not by adding additional research and discovery. Far from being an anti-intellectual stance, Rollins paves a third way by requiring that the truth of Christianity rests not in orthodoxy but in orthopraxy, the right living of Christian belief. One's actions cannot be separated from one's beliefs.
This reasoning brings up the dilemma of doubt, and how that figures into a system that rests beyond the regular definition of belief as right doctrine. Rollins argues that doubt is an after-effect of an event, and that belief and doubt are formed after an initial event (142). Far more important than belief or doubt, Rollins argues, is "a happening, an event, that we affirm and respond to, regardless of the ebbs and flows of our abstract theological reflections concerning the source and nature of this happening.Read more ›
I will say that I think he went a bit too far in his assertion that its impossible to make any ontological inferences about God, but his critiques of western metaphysics are important, and are definitely worth considering. His practical conclusions are also quite insightful, and I think Rollins has his hand on the pulse of church life as we forward.
The biggest strength of this book, in my opinion, is that Rollins seeks to develop a position reagrding the status of the biblical text. No other emergent writer I have seen up to this point has been willing to address the question of what the biblical text actually is in their view, and I think this is a key question for the continued development of the postmodern church. I only wish he would have taken the implications of his textual presuppositions to their conclusion. Unfortunately, I think his skeptical presuppositions about the text itself are not sufficiently grounded in adequate interaction with historical-criticism, even though negative assertions in this arena are what drive his metaphysical and ontological assertions about our ability to know anything about God.
Overall, this is one of the most important books for one to read in regard to the Emergent Movement at this point. Pick it up!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having greatly enjoyed and been provoked by the author’s previous book ‘How (not) to speak of God’, I was very disappointed with this book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mr. D. P. Jay
Excellent book that lays out in a scholarly way exactly the issues which Jews and Christians have with the scriptural narrative. Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. Strong
I bought and read this book under the assumption it would be focused predominantly on betrayal. I specifically assumed it would be focused on Judas and other, similar,... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Matthew O'Neil, author
Prophetic words for prophetic followers of Jesus. A real challenge for for any who have a rigid understanding of "the rules."Published 8 months ago by Dale Hotelling
I read all of Rollins' work. It is thought-provoking and challenging. This book was much of the same. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Joe Skillen
Absolutely fantastic Pete, absolutely fantastic. Provocative and challenging; to the point of helping to cause the fissure in my belief system that helps fundamentally usher in a... Read morePublished 19 months ago by f14carbo
This book has challenged me spiritually as a church leader. It is truly a must read for anyone who is interested in "knowing God for themselves."Published 19 months ago by Rev. E. Gill
As a Christian who wrestles with questions and doubts I am thankful for the writing of Peter Rollins. I hopeful that one day I'll understand what he's saying. :-)Published on January 26, 2014 by Sdmayo78
An outstanding book that presents a mature view of God beyond the need to literalize and fully in line with mystic thought and experience. Read morePublished on November 27, 2013 by Craig Bergland