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A N Wilson

God's Funeral

The gap between religious believers and non-believers is surprisingly wide - arguments on one side or the other often seem to be just 'preaching to the converted'. So how did this gap come about. In God's Funeral, A N Wilson shows how this the legacy of nineteenth century thinkers has a lot to do with it.

We hear of those such as Thomas Carlyle, who struggled to find some sort of faith but couldn't bring himself to believe in the religion of those around him. This religion was facing challenges from many different directions, but the response of many was to insist on sticking to the old style of belief. Others admitted that intellectually there were problems, but thought that 'going through the motions' of religion was a good thing. Even those who believed but tried to make sense of the problems of the Bible as a historical account, such as Bishop Colenso, faced expulsion from the Church. It is no wonder that many began to turn away from religion. To those in the literary world, such as George Eliot, it became natural to doubt the traditional beliefs. And in the world of science the work of Lyell, Darwin and others was constantly contradicting the claims of religious authorities.

Wilson demonstrates his wide knowledge of the era, but this is not a book for those wanting a carefully argued discussion of what happened to religion. Rather Wilson takes the reader back into the midst of the arguments which were going on at the time. If you want to get a feel for why the move away from religion happened as it did then you should take a look at this book. info
Paperback 544 pages  
ISBN: 0349112657
Salesrank: 286705
Weight:1.01 lbs
Published: 2000 Abacus
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ISBN: 0349112657
Salesrank: 812985
Weight:1.01 lbs
Published: 2000 Abacus
Amazon price CDN$ 45.10
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 45.10:Used from CDN$ 2.78
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Product Description
By the end of the nineteenth century, almost all the great writers, artists and intellectuals had abandoned Christianity, and many had abandoned belief in God altogether. A.N. Wilson demonstrates through such diverse lives as those of Gibbon, Kant, and Marx, the doubt about religion had many sources. By 1900 the Church was vastly rich and powerful, but was seen by many as spiritually empty, however full its pews might be of a Sunday. Echoes of the death of God could be heard everywhere; in the revolutionary politics of Garibaldi and Lenin; in the poetry of Tennyson, the plays of Shaw and the novels of Hardy; in the philosophy of Hegel and in the work of Freud; in the first stirrings of feminism. Wilson's fascinating and challenging account shows how the decline of religious certainty in Victorian times had its origins with the eighteenth-century sceptics - but brought a devastating sense of emotional loss which extends to our own times.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews