- Paperback: 103 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; 1st edition (January 6, 1970)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385066309
- ISBN-13: 978-0385066303
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural Paperback – January 6, 1970
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About the Author
Peter L. Berger (Boston, MA) was a University Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Boston University and the founder and Senior Research Fellow of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs. He wrote numerous books on sociological theory, the sociology of religion, and Third World development. Among his more recent books are In Praise of Doubt (with Anton Zijderveld); Religious America, Secular Europe? (with Grace Davie and Effie Fokas); Questions of Faith; Many Globalizations (edited with Samuel Huntington); and Redeeming Laughter: The Comic Dimension of Human Experience. Professor Berger received honorary degrees from Loyola University, University of Notre Dame, University of Geneva, University of Munich, Sofia University, and Renmin University of China. He died in 2017.
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which Berger himself said "read like a treatise on atheism, at least in parts."
My hard cover copy cost $5.50 in 1967. Try getting that today.
to theological thought and religous institutions. He makes the case that a complete understanding of this is important for both religious and non-religious individuals, and also for theologians and scholars of religion. He also advances from this, and what he has said previously in the other book The Sacred Canopy, that an inductive faith is a possible option for those who find it impossible to ignore modern thought, including the empirical sciences, in their religious beliefs. Faith and the supernatural do not have to be ruled out just because empirical science does not support them. This is what Tolstoy called "irrational knowledge" and it is critical to consider, especially in our modern time.
"There are, of course, secular theodicies. They fail, however in interpreting and thus in making bearable the extremes of human suffering. They fail notably in interpreting death."
As you can see, he is taking the apostle Paul's line here: If death is not solved, there is no meaning to life. In other words, there is, ipso facto, no God.
Corinthians 15:13 "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then the Messiah has not been raised, and if the Messiah has not been raised, then our message means nothing and your faith means nothing."
On the other hand, his arguments in the book fail to demonstrate the existence of God or meaning.
What I find very interesting is that in my experience, prayer works, whether or not one believes in any theological system. And deliverance from fear and existential angst is quite possible without knowing the certainty of a God's existence, of immortality, or of any meaning for human existence.
In Love with Everything