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Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (The Terry Lectures Series) Paperback – March 16, 2010
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--Laurie Taylor"New Humanist Magazine" (07/01/2009)
"[B]etter than any previous book of its kind."--James Wood, "The New Yorker"--James Wood"The New Yorker" (08/31/2009)
"Eagleton writes with lucidity, wit and panache and, though an atheist himself, successfully shreds what the conflated Ditchkins say in their books."--Piers Paul Read"Spectator" (11/14/2009)
'A boisterous polemic ... Eagleton yields to none in his denunciation of institutional Christianity and a punitive, vengeful God as a betrayal of Jesus's championing of the poor and rejected.'--Jonathan Benthall"Times Literary Supplement" (12/11/2009)
"Brisk, funny, and challenging . . . . One of the most fascinating, most original and prickliest works of philosophy to emerge from the post-9/11 era."--Andrew O'Hehir, "Salon"
--Andrew O'Hehir"Salon" (04/01/2009)
"Eagleton''s book is a brisk and welcome contribution to the ongoing discussion about the place of religion in the world today. Readers will find plenty to challenge them in this brief snapshot of today''s ''God Debate.''"--;i>Association for Mormon Letters
"--Blair Dee Hodges "Association for Mormon Letters "
''Eagleton is one of Britain''s leading literary critics and writes with verve and humour.'' -- Paul Goodliff, Baptist Times--Paul Goodliff"Baptist Times" (06/18/2010)
"Eagleton is an unconventional and entertaining thinker. His book is as much about capitalism, politics, and literary criticism as it is about religion." --Kurt Kleiner, "The Globe and Mail"--Kurt Kleiner "The Globe and Mail "
"Erudite, but often entertaining volume." --Rich Barlow, "Boston Globe"--Rich Barlow "Boston Globe "
Eagleton''s book "meets the challenge of the New Atheists with a sense of playfulness (for example, he melds the two leading lights of the movement, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, into one signifier, "Ditchkins"), and a dogged refusal to let Oxbridge-trained rhetoric stand in for actual reason. The result is a work bathed in wit and punctuated with soaring prose that, while sympathetic to religious truth-claims, ends with a flourish on his Marxist hopes for an embrace of "tragic humanism.""--Lyndon Shakespeare, "Anglican Theological Review"--Lyndon Shakespeare "Anglican Theological Review "
"Terry Eagleton is at his best as a critic, and much of the book, which is really a series of lectures delivered at Yale University, is devoted to incisive and angry analyses of what is wrong with our world in the twenty-first century."--Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, "Metapsychology Online Reviews"--Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi"Metapsychology" (12/01/2009)
."..[a] gloriously rumbustious counter-blast to Dawkinsite atheism...paradoxes sparkle throughout this coruscatingly brilliant polemic.... Eagleton is stronger on reason than Ditchkins, for he thinks carefully about what his opponents say.... This is, then, a demolition job which is both logically devastating and a magnificently whirling philippic.... It is easy to see why a lot of people will not be happy with this book. Much of what it says is too true."--Paul Vallely, "The Independent"
--Paul Vallely"The Independent" (07/17/2009)
"[Eagleton''s] gleeful, often satirical, piercing of the chinks in the armor of modern atheist apologetics is beneficial to any reader interested in the ''God Debate.''" --James Heiser, "thenewamerican.com"--James Heiser "thenewamerican.com "
"There is a great deal here that readers from different backgrounds will find informative. It is a polemical book, but the deeper sense of the polemic is the subtle and multi-formed argument that what is at stake here, in the distinction between religious and secularist values, is actually a way of being alive. As Eagleton powerfully states, faith is never about the superficial use of reason."--Oliver Davies, "Scottish Bulletin on Evangelical Theory"--Oliver Davies"Scottish Bulletin on Evangelical Theory" (05/01/2011)
"Terry Eagleton has a deserved reputation as one of the most influential of British literary critics and cultural commentators who has developed over his many publications a highly effective communicative style. This book is no exception."--Oliver Davies, "Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theory"--Oliver Davies "Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theory "
"There are plenty of things in this book to anger all sorts of people, and few will not find something in it with which to disagree strongly. And that's just fine. This is an exceptional contribution to recent debates around faith, religion, and atheism."--Dale B. Martin, Yale University--Dale B. Martin
""Reason, Faith, and Revolution" is a challenging, feisty contribution to the current public debate about God and religion. It is poetic, wise, and clear. Eagleton proves he is more than a literary critic; he's also an exceptional preacher." --Kurt Armstrong, "Christian Week"--Kurt Armstrong "Christian Week "
"Eagleton's book began as a series of lectures delivered at Yale University. They must have been a riot.... He's fantastically rude all round, about 'Ditchkins, ' about religion itself, which 'has wrought untold misery in human affairs'.... It's terrific polemic."--Melanie McDonagh, "Evening Standard"
--Melanie McDonagh"Evening Standard" (07/16/2009)
"This is a good and stimulating reading for theologians, and invites in a provocative way to think about theology's identity and mission in times of deep changes and challenges." --Lluis Oviedo, "Religion & Theology"--Lluis Oviedo "Religion & Theology "
Eagleton's book "meets the challenge of the New Atheists with a sense of playfulness (for example, he melds the two leading lights of the movement, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, into one signifier, "Ditchkins"), and a dogged refusal to let Oxbridge-trained rhetoric stand in for actual reason. The result is a work bathed in wit and punctuated with soaring prose that, while sympathetic to religious truth-claims, ends with a flourish on his Marxist hopes for an embrace of "tragic humanism.""--Lyndon Shakespeare, "Anglican Theological Review"--Lyndon Shakespeare "Anglican Theological Review "
'Eagleton is one of Britain's leading literary critics and writes with verve and humour.' -- Paul Goodliff, Baptist Times--Paul Goodliff"Baptist Times" (06/18/2010)
"Eagleton's book is a brisk and welcome contribution to the ongoing discussion about the place of religion in the world today. Readers will find plenty to challenge them in this brief snapshot of today's 'God Debate.'"--;i>Association for Mormon Letters
"--Blair Dee Hodges "Association for Mormon Letters "
"[Eagleton's] gleeful, often satirical, piercing of the chinks in the armor of modern atheist apologetics is beneficial to any reader interested in the 'God Debate.'" --James Heiser, "thenewamerican.com"--James Heiser "thenewamerican.com "
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
The book begins with an excellent defense of Christianity, but beginning on page 55, the author goes into an anti-Christianity tirade. Read morePublished 1 month ago by hotchas
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 21 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 on May 5, 2014 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 on March 17, 2014 by Michael Dean 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 on February 24, 2014 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