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Reason, Faith, and Revolution

Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate

Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Reason, Faith, and Revolution
    Book Description:

    Terry Eagleton's witty and polemicalReason, Faith, and Revolutionis bound to cause a stir among scientists, theologians, people of faith and people of no faith, as well as general readers eager to understand the God Debate. On the one hand, Eagleton demolishes what he calls the "superstitious" view of God held by most atheists and agnostics and offers in its place a revolutionary account of the Christian Gospel. On the other hand, he launches a stinging assault on the betrayal of this revolution by institutional Christianity.

    There is little joy here, then, either for the anti-God brigade-Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens in particular-nor for many conventional believers. Instead, Eagleton offers his own vibrant account of religion and politics in a book that ranges from the Holy Spirit to the recent history of the Middle East, from Thomas Aquinas to the Twin Towers.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-15550-1
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. CHAPTER ONE The Scum of the Earth
    (pp. 1-46)

    It was, I felt, characteristic of the delightfully informal nature of American society that I should receive a letter from Yale inviting me to deliver the Terry Lectures. I had of course long been accustomed to the instant-first-name character of U.S. culture, but this long-range intimacy nevertheless came as something of a surprise. I began to wonder whether these talks, when Carl Jung was delivering them, were affectionately known as the Chuck Lectures, to be changed later to the Maggie Lectures when the speaker was Margaret Mead. Anyway, I feel that something is demanded of me in return for this...

  5. CHAPTER TWO The Revolution Betrayed
    (pp. 47-108)

    The account of Christian faith I have just outlined is one which I take to be thoroughly orthodox, scriptural, and traditional. There is nothing fashionable or newfangled about it; indeed, much of it goes back to Aquinas and beyond. In my view, it is a lot more realistic about humanity than the likes of Dawkins. It takes the full measure of human depravity and perversity, in contrast to what we shall see later to be the extraordinarily Pollyannaish view of human progress ofThe God Delusion. At the same time, it is a good deal bolder than the liberal humanists...

  6. CHAPTER THREE Faith and Reason
    (pp. 109-139)

    Freudians and political radicals, along with a great many people who would see themselves as neither, are aware that without reason we are sunk, but that reason, even so, is not in the end what is most fundamental about us. Richard Dawkins claims with grandiloquent folly that religious faith dispenses with reason altogether, which wasn’t true even of the dimwitted authoritarian clerics who knocked me around at grammar school. Without reason, we perish; but reason does not go all the way down. It is not wall to wall. Even Richard Dawkins lives more by faith than by reason. There are...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR Culture and Barbarism
    (pp. 140-170)

    Why are the most unlikely people, including myself, suddenly talking about God? Who would have expected theology to rear its head once more in the technocratic twenty-first century, almost as surprisingly as some mass revival of Zoroastrianism or neo-Platonism? Why is it that my local bookshop has suddenly sprouted a section labeled “Atheism,” and might even now be contemplating another one marked “Congenital Skeptic with Mild Baptist Leanings”? Why, just as we were confidently moving into a posttheological, postmetaphysical, even posthistorical era, has the God question suddenly broken out anew? Can one simply put it down to falling towers and...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 171-176)
  9. Index
    (pp. 177-185)