God-talk is now a flourishing theme. Anybody who can write eloquently for or against God or religion is welcome in the publishing world. So we have yet another book: this time by a keen, no-nonsense literary critic. He doesn’t take sides, either with religionists or with religion-bashers. He is fed up with both parties: Religionists for having misinterpreted and misapplied the true genius of religion (Christianity for him): “Christianity has become the nauseating cant of lying politicians, corrupt bankers, and fanatical neocons as well as an immensely profitable industry in its own right.” Religion bashers for not understanding the essence of religion: “Like Dawkins, … he (Hitchens) is like an incompetent literary critic who rips the sleepwalking scene in Macbeth from the whole intricate context of the drama and asks us exasperatingly whether on earth it is probable.” He decries the tragic humanism of Ditchkins (Dawkins plus Hitchens) and pleads for a liberal humanism which, while rejecting the untenable in religious beliefs, condemns the ugly accretions of pristine Christianity over the centuries, and especially in modern times. A thought-provoking delightful slim volume with a good deal of literary charm, biting wit and sweeping generalizations to make the reader applaud or squirm, depending on his/her biases.
June 5, 2009