There’s an undeniable magic in this gathering, even on paper.
Jungian analyst Michael Gellert, in his new book The Divine Mind: Exploring the Psychological History of God's Inner Journey, sifts through the Old Testament, the Talmud, the New Testament, the Koran, and the Hadith in order to trace the mental and moral growth of the central character, the God of the three Abrahamic religions. The goal of The Divine Mind is to make some sense out of the figure Richard Dawkins refers to as “the most unpleasant character in all fiction”; in these pages, Gellert is asking the same question Scriptural scholars have asked all the way back to Saint Augustine and that believers have been asking in one phrasing or another since Adam and Eve were bustled out of the Garden of Eden: “What is it with this Guy?”Read More
Marilynne Robinson began her novel Housekeeping while completing a dissertation on Shakespeare as a graduate student. Initially she wrote what now form the book’s preliminary scenes as exercises in extended metaphors. Evoking her childhood home of Sandpoint, Idaho, a lake town in the panhandle of the state (in the book she renames it Fingerbone) and remotely drawing off her ancestors, Robinson simply wanted to see if she could still write something other than scholastic essays. Also, she has said, she wanted to impress her friends.Read More
At one point in James Wood’s novel The Book Against God, the spiritually tortured narrator Thomas Bunting is transported to a painful recollection of adolescence. Thomas is the son of a kind and intelligent Anglican priest. His childhood was filled with love and attention. Then one day when he was 14, he says, he walked into his school’s assembly hall and, as though stepping through some kind of portal, entered into a state of self-consciousness:Read More
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