Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church

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Many of the conclusions reached will shock devout believers, though all of them can be verified with reference to sympathetic works by biblical scholars and theologians. A recurring theme is that of open secrets — facts well known to historians and other academics in the Church, but kept from the faithful masses.

These open secrets are not actively denied, just avoided so as not to cause offence to those who are familiar only with the Sunday-School version of events. Many Christians see their system of belief as dating from the earliest times, but this idea becomes difficult to sustain in the light of when and how key doctrines were established. Many ordinary Christians would be shocked to discover, for example, the prominent role played by violence and forgery in developing and promoting Christian doctrine. Repercussions from crusades that happened over years ago are still in evidence today.

The division of the Roman Empire in early Christian times also reverberates to the present day. To a large extent, the history of the Western World over the last 2, years is the history of the Christian Church. Without a proper understanding of the role of the Church, it is not possible to truly understand the history of Europe, the Middle East, or indeed the Americas. Customer Reviews Average Review. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly.

Usually ships within 6 days. Overview Starting from a neutral position, this book looks at claims made by Christian leaders over the centuries and analyses them in the light of modern scholarship. Product Details About the Author. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. A Crisis of Faith: The Battle of beliefs. Religious history in the Western world has been dominated by the power and doctrinal discipline Religious history in the Western world has been dominated by the power and doctrinal discipline of the Catholic Church.

But, argues Tony Sunderland in his new book, we are not solely products of this tradition, nor of that of its View Product. Basic Truths: of the Christian Faith. Basic Truths of the Christian Faith is an interactive workbook that is part of a Basic Truths of the Christian Faith is an interactive workbook that is part of a discipleship series. Lyon; Hans-Peter Breuer, eds.

Brecht Unbound. University of Delaware Press. With Stravinsky and Brecht we are juxtaposing an avowedly apolitical artist, rather reactionary in most phases of his life, and a practicing Russian Orthodox with a Marxist and atheist. And the dramatist examines the nature of Paul's faith with both sympathy and insight.

Smith called him, "[a] cynical atheist, the poet, critic, and artist harbored an irrepressible streak of romanticism. I have always wagered against God and I regard the little that I have won in this world as simply the outcome of this bet. However paltry may have been the stake my life I am conscious of having won to the full. Everything that is doddering, squint-eyed, vile, polluted and grotesque is summoned up for me in that one word: God! Linguistics and philosophy: an essay on the philosophical constants of language.

University of Notre Dame Press. Breton professed to be an atheist Again, the atheist Breton's predilection for ideas of blasphemy and profanation, as well as for the " demonic " word noir, contained a hint of Satanism and alliance with infernal powers. He has been on the literary scene - publishing, reviewing, judging, chairing, tutoring, giving readings - since the s. He has also been a London borough councillor, a Labour parliamentary candidate Richmond, Surrey, , very much what I think of as decent, persistent, dogged "Old Labour" - sensitive but solid, inclining towards the puritan though a self-confessed atheist in matters of religion - and a strenuous campaigner for serious radio and television, anti-muzak, anti-destruction of libraries, for the proper traditional cultural concerns of the British Council, et al.

But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable.

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Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state and our education system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. Haught, ed, Years of Disbelief. Ulysses Press. When his wife died in , he placed an emblem of Our Lady of Carmen around her neck, saying, in his mocking way, that this would make sure that she went directly to heaven, without being stopped at customs.

They regard it impossible to leave these matters unsettled — or at least extremely detrimental to religion not to have the basis of such conviction. Now for my part I do not find it impossible to leave them open I can describe myself as no ardent theist or atheist. Simon and Schuster. For, even though John W. Prometheus Books. Mother goddesses are just as silly a notion as father gods.

If a revival of the myths of these cults gives women emotional satisfaction, it does so at the price of obscuring the real conditions of life.

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This is why they were invented in the first place. Simon Karlinsky ed. Northwestern University Press. While Anton did not turn into the kind of militant atheist that his older brother Alexander eventually became, there is no doubt that he was a nonbeliever in the last decades of his life. Anthem Press. For Rozanov, Chekhov represents a concluding stage of classical Russian literature at the turn of the centuries, caused by the 'fading' of a thousand' years old Christian tradition which was spiritually feeding this literature.

On the one hand, Rozanov regards Chekhov's positivism and atheism as his shortcomings, naming them amongst the reasons of Chekhov's popularity in society. Selected Stories of Anton Chekov. Random House Digital, Inc. University of Chicago Press. Though Chekhov considered himself an atheist -partly in response to his tyrannically religious father—his childhood familiarity with the rituals and stories of the Russian Orthodox Church pervades many of his stories.

Greta Christina. Archived from the original on Stanley [Kubrick] is a Jew and I'm an atheist". Clarke quoted in Jeromy Agel Ed. The Making of Kubrick's : p. His contribution to literature was in popularising the work of Charles Darwin and other evolutionary scientists in the face of opposition from the church. Coatzee writes of himself: "Though he himself is an atheist and has always been one, he feels he understands Jesus better" than his religious teacher does.

Coatzee's late fiction", The Nation , vol. The whole review article: pp. Although an unapproachable cold atheist, and at root an anarchist, Cole joined forces with Reckitt, the clubbable, romantic medievalist, archetypal bourgeois, and unswerving Anglican with a dogmatic faith, to found the National Guilds League in Peart-Binns, 'Reckitt, Maurice Benington — ' , rev. Rowse proved a 'militant atheist', for 'I am convinced that our great influence in the world is because this country has given a definite place to religion and to free religion, ie Protestantism at that.

God is an abstract noun, he's not a Father Christmas up there in Heaven, he's an abstract bloody noun who has been exploited by men in order to exploit other men, through the centuries. At the end of writing that book, I was no less of an atheist than I was before, yet it did make me think about my atheism. Thinking about the bleakness of my own atheism, and the inadequacy of the old fashioned kind of atheism when the big events of life-- especially death—came along, made me want to see whether I could come up with a narrative of comfort, a false narrative of comfort, but one that could match the narratives of comfort religions come up with to get you through death and bereavement.

Indian Journal of History of Science. Retrieved 10 July As contrasted with Bacon, however, Datta's enthusiasm for natural science ultimately led him to become a stark atheist going to the extent of disproving the efficacy of prayer with an ingenious arguments, Yet he seemed in good humor for a brief Publishers Weekly interview last spring about his most recent book, The Word of God.

An outspoken atheist, Disch adopted the deity's perspective to score points on the absurdity of hell and similar numinous postulates. His three children attend secular state schools, and he welcomes the widening 'rift between Church and state. It has happened, it is happening, and for me that's a great thing. As an atheist, I feel very comfortable in Ireland now.

Duffy, brought up a Catholic, pronounces herself an atheist; Johnson Manning is a committed Christian. I value my Catholic background very much. It taught me not to be afraid of rigorous thought, for one thing. Raised Catholic, Eco has long since left the church. Thomas Aquinas. True, we are both atheists, but Tariq is evangelical while I am benign about religion and think the Throne should be occupied by a member of the Church of England. How will a win affect public sentiment? Or a defeat? The trouble with basing values on religions, though, is that the premises of most of them are pure wishful thinking; you either have to refuse to scrutinise those premises - take them on faith, declare that they "transcend logic" - or reject them.

As Paul Davies has said, most Christian theologians have retreated from all the things that their religion supposedly asserts; they take a much more "modern" view than the average believer. But by the time you've "modernised" something like Christianity - starting off with "Genesis was all just poetry" and ending up with "Well, of course there's no such thing as a personal God" - there's not much point pretending that there's anything religious left.

You might as well come clean and admit that you're an atheist with certain values, which are historical, cultural, biological, and personal in origin, and have nothing to do with anything called God. I'm somewhere between an atheist and an agnostic - I'd be an atheist if I could muster the energy. But what is a person of limited means and no taste for "carousing" to do? Several times during the week, I have driven past the "Deliverance" church downtown, and the name alone exerts a scary attraction The marquee in front of the church is advertising a Saturday night "tent revival," which sounds like the perfect entertainment for an atheist out on her own.

The Portable Atheist. Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo. People say to me, do you believe in God? No, I don't believe in God. CS1 maint: archived copy as title link. Upwingers: A Futurist Manifesto. The Sydney Morning Herald. May 4, He was a declared atheist and a member of the Humanist Society and he was cremated on October 30 at Putney Vale crematorium, south London.

The more I read, the more I felt that we were dealing with myths: human attempts to come to terms with the big challenges of life. My parents were very upset. My mother said: 'This means we won't meet you in heaven. I wanted to burn down all the churches or turn them into second-hand record emporiums. When you go to buy a paper you have to accept that the newsagent believes he'll go to a paradise after he dies where there are virgins running around, or he believes the world was created in seven days That doesn't mean you can't buy a newspaper from him or ask how his kids are.

I get increasingly respectful of people who have faith and increasingly creeped out by them. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion.

Identity Crisis - Jim Staley

ME: I call myself a secular humanist. Secular humanists disbelieve in the supernatural and prefer to use reason, compassion, and the methods of science to build the good life in this life. I couldn't sidestep the "A" word. When I tried, it was all I'd get to talk about. ME: Yes, but that's only the beginning. His family belonged to the puritanical Plymouth Brethren, so he was barred from watching films and television and even visiting other churches.

Sounds like a strict upbringing. Perhaps too strict, given that he is now an atheist. But I also have a sybaritic streak and could never have been happy in any puritanical religion. Self-denial is not my thing. But the death of Elizabeth, who had been in all his novels, was an incomparably worse blow. It was the paradox his books had been written to solve. This devout atheist was moved and at moments even transported. I believe that you shouldn't be allowed to impose morality on people because a book written several thousand years ago says so. A crew is en route to a God-like entity: the Sun.

The Sun is larger and more powerful than we can imagine. The Sun gave us life, and can take it away.

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It is nurturing, in that it provides the means of our survival, but also terrifying and hostile [ But he isn't. The Sun is God-like, but not God. Not a conscious being. Not a divine architect. And the crew member is only doing what man has always done: making an awestruck category error when confronted with our small place within the vast and neutral scheme of things. The director, Danny Boyle, who is not atheistic in the way that I am, felt differently. He believed that the crew actually were meeting God. I didn't see this as a major problem, because the difference in our approach wasn't in conflict with the way in which the story would be told.

Why I Doubt Daniel 2 Is True

Do both of you consider yourselves atheists? Pinker: Yes. Goldstein: Proud atheists. Pinker: There, we said it. Retrieved on I wouldn't even call myself an agnostic. Political Economy of Socialist Realism. Yale University Press. Gorky hated religion with all the passion of a former God-builder. Probably no other Russian writer unless one considers Dem'ian Bednyi a writer expressed so many angry words about God, religion, and the church. But Gorky's atheism always fed on that same hatred of nature. He wrote about God and about nature in the very same terms.

Antonio Gramsci. Yet, despite his own atheism, Gramsci did not see the Church as automatically reactionary. But Greene's relationship with the church was never easy, and he was often critical of the religion. In his last years he began referring to himself as a 'Catholic atheist' Shelden, 6. I'm more at ease with the Catholicism of Catholic countries. I've always found it difficult to believe in God. I suppose I'd now call myself a Catholic atheist. I am an atheist Catholic - there are a lot of them around. One thing lapsed Catholics do not do is go in for an "inferior" religion with less in the way of tradition and intellectual content.

Accessed February 12, His father emigrated from Poland to Palestine in , working as a bus driver and raising his family along traditional lines. Grossman describes himself as 'very secular, an atheist and very, very Jewish. I have dedicated "Madame Terror" to her. Since she has helped me much with [my] books, not least with this one, the latest. Much talk on and forth, I've had a lot yellings. Yip Harburg Foundation. In fact, on religious matters, I am inclined to take the Christopher Hitchens line - not only am I atheist, I am anti-theist. If God did exist, I would be against him on any number of grounds, not least of which is that He is always behaving in such an unreasonable, autocratic manner.

New Holy War. Herzl, for example, was an atheist. Da Capo Press. Various biographers have pointed out that his publisher, Hetzel, an atheist, routinely urged Verne to insert more family values—style Christianity into his stories to make them more commercially viable among mainstream readers.

This was run by Anglican nuns who, she said, informed her she would never enter the kingdom of heaven. Since she was already an atheist - which she remained all her life - she greeted this news with a certain nonchalance. She was amused when, in later life, she was designated as a patron saint of Australian writers. It is a possible way of democratic and pluralistic life that only became thinkable after several wars and revolutions had ruthlessly smashed the hold of the clergy on the state.

I have spent all my life on the atheist side of this argument He understood Nietzsche's keen wit, and was very funny in his own fashion, cracking many a joke, often at his own expense. Oh alright, just a large one! XLVII 6. Archived from the original Scholar search on He was an atheist but retained an affection for churches and the sound of the bells. And atheist! Triple A rating! Ibsen: Three Plays. Nick Hern Books. Sternly atheist, unswervingly rationalist, he allows religion no part in the events of Hedda Gabler. When characters do invoke God Tesman; Mrs Elvsted; Miss Tesman it is a superficial, conventional way of talking, to add emphasis to otherwise bland remarks - and Ibsen the ironist takes it one step further when he makes Brack invoke, for the same purpose, not the deity but the devil.

I am not remotely religious. What brought out the venom of my attack - in so far as that's a fair description, which it isn't - was the complacency of Dawkins' prose, his inability, which he mistakes for a virtue, to imagine how another living soul imagines the universe. All of which I could have said exactly as I said it and still been more of an atheist than he is. I don't know where you get this certainty from. There are things we don't know.

However, much of his language, especially when he talks of forgiving the old Stalinist order rather than seeking revenge, is Christian. The paradox, then, is that Kadare is a humanist who claims that the greatest riches of Albanian culture derive from its Christian tradition. Gilman Franz Kafka. Reaktion Books. Through his consumption of such books Kafka rejected both capitalism and religion as a teenager - declaring himself to be a socialist and an atheist.

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Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia Of Literature. As an adolescent, he declared himself a socialist as well as an atheist. As a Jew, Kafka was isolated from the German community in Prague, but as a modern intellectual he was also alienated from his own Jewish heritage. Luebering, ed. The Rosen Publishing Group. Kafka's opposition to established society became apparent when, as an adolescent, he declared himself a socialist as well as an atheist. The Life and Times of Franz Kafka. BookCaps Study Guides. In time Kafka would become an atheist.

Oxford University Press. Undoubtedly, synagogue life appalled Kafka, but not because he was an atheist. The Jewish Chronicle Online. Retrieved 15 March Whilst Kafka had a brief interest in Kabbalah, mysticism, and Yiddish theatre, he rarely attended synagogue and considered himself an atheist. Merriman Jalic Inc. Kafka eventually declared himself a socialist atheist, Spinoza, Darwin and Nietzsche some of his influences. Shivarama Karanth. Sahitya Akademi. And even if we don't buy the "controlling hand of God", we often try to console ourselves with the "to everything a purpose" theory of chance.

This is especially true in instances of random calamity. At the risk of sounding like a smug wagon, my life was horrible and now it's not. I hate this attitude that we are all ricocheting around in despair. Hope is not my default position, but we have to work for it. I don't believe in God - I wish I did - so the only way for me is through other people: a connection with other people is what makes us whole.

Misery is optional. Excerpt: "I had developed that habit of communicating with my imaginary friend when I was a kid who actually believed in an all-knowing, all-powerful Being. That afternoon, I told God I couldn't believe in him any more because he had allowed such devastation to happen. Why do you think I gave humans free will? Retrieved July 24, Burchfield, 'Laski, Marghanita — ' , rev. If God existed, He would have certainly not permitted that human beings be thrown alive into furnaces, and the heads of little toddlers be smashed with gun butts or shoved into sacks and gassed to death.

Fundamental Beliefs". Le Guin Susan Wood ed. Ultramarine Publishing. I talk about the gods, I an atheist. Conversations with Ursula K. Le Guin. Press of Mississippi. I am an atheist and I always have been; I have a great deal of trouble with C. Lewis, with the way his mind works. The Missouri Review , vol. Since nothing is absolutely necessary, there is no absolute reason why something could not be, or not be in a certain way And everything is possible, that is there is no absolute reason why some arbitrary thing can not exist, or exist in a certain manner And there is no absolute distinction between all these possibilities, nor absolute difference between all the possible perfections and so on It is certain that since the Platonic forms that preexist all things have been destroyed, God is destroyed.

Bryn Mawr College. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World. Vanity Fair. America First! Amherst, NY: Prometheus, Jack London: A Life. HarperCollins UK. Lovecraft", section II.

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On this occasion he rose early, leaving her sleeping undisturbed in bed. Dickie emphasizes that Lucian wrote in a sometimes self-contradictory range of first-person personae that make it difficult to assess his own beliefs. Lucian the Syrian Satirist. Kessinger Publishing. Both of them struck at a great religion, but they had very different objects in view.

Perhaps Mackay, also, was serious about sainthood. Amongst the allusions and quotations in his memoir, the King James Bible and Bunyan's wonderful Pilgrim's Progress are predominant. He was an atheist, he reiterated, but his disappointment with the world - with failed and brutal Communism, with crass capitalist consumerism - moved him towards "prophecy" in the Judaeo-Christian tradition.

His friend Roger Martin du Gard saw disbelief as a modern responsibility, and claimed that 'my atheism was formed at the same time as my mind'. It sounds cold, but at the same time, it's important to remember how wonderful that is. Questioned about her claim, she found that she had in fact done so. She remained an atheist. Atheists have as much conscience, possibly more, than people with deep religious conviction, and they still have the same problem of how they reconcile themselves to a bad deed in the past.

The New York Times. And then it simply vanished. I simply lay down one evening to go to sleep and woke up the next day and it wasn't there anymore. I quickly, at some point in my late teens, began reading and surmising that the idea of religion was a creation of man's longing to be a permanent part of the universe. But in real life Toad is dead; Alice is dead; Peter Pan and Wendy are long flown; and now Christopher Robin, a 'sweet and decent' man who overcame a childhood in which he was haunted by Pooh and taunted by peers, has left without saying his prayers - he was a dedicated atheist - aged

Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church
Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church
Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church
Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church
Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church
Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church
Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church

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