Reason, Faith, and Revolution Reflections on the God Debate Terry Eagleton

The Terry Lectures Series
Publication date:
16 Mar 2010
Yale University Press
200 pages: 210 x 140mm
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One of our most influential literary critics challenges those who too easily dismiss religion and faith

Terry Eagleton’s witty and polemical Reason, Faith, and Revolution is 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.

Terry Eagleton is Distinguished Professor of English Literature at the University of Lancaster, England, and Professor of Cultural Theory at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Notre Dame. Eagleton is also the author of On Evil, published by Yale University Press.

'Terry Eagleton’s intervention into the debate sparked by Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion is, by turns, thought-provoking, infuriating, inspiring and very, very funny.'
-London Review of Books

'Eagleton’s book began as a series of lectures delivered at Yale University. They must have been a riot…. He’s fantastically rude all round, about 'Ditchkins,' about religion itself, which 'has wrought untold misery in human affairs'…. It’s terrific polemic.'
-Melanie McDonagh, Evening Standard

'There are plenty of things in this book to anger all sorts of people, and few will not find something in it with which to disagree strongly. And that's just fine. This is an exceptional contribution to recent debates around faith, religion, and atheism.'
-Dale B. Martin, Yale University

'This is sure to ruffle feathers on both sides of the God debate. Eagleton offers his own polemical chronicle of religion and politics from the Holy Spirit to the Twin Towers. Many will, simply, have to read this.'

'Eagleton is that rarity, a non-ideological Marxist with a keen understanding of and sympathy for the human condition, not to mention an informed as well as sharp sense of humor. Serious Christians may be his most appreciative readers.'
-Booklist (starred review)

'This is sure to ruffle feathers on both sides of the God debate. Eagleton offers his own polemical chronicle of religion and politics from the Holy Spirit to the Twin Towers. Many will, simply, have to read this.'

'The book is superb. Provocative. And, it's easy to overlook this particular new book among the heaps of mystery novels and other best sellers at bookstores, so grab a copy now.'

'His is a radical contribution to what is becoming one of the most important issues of our age.'
-Good Book Guide

'…[a] gloriously rumbustious counter-blast to Dawkinsite atheism…paradoxes sparkle throughout this coruscatingly brilliant polemic…. Eagleton is stronger on reason than Ditchkins, for he thinks carefully about what his opponents say…. This is, then, a demolition job which is both logically devastating and a magnificently whirling philippic.… It is easy to see why a lot of people will not be happy with this book. Much of what it says is too true.'
-Paul Vallely, The Independent

'Eagleton…is a powerful and engaging writer, perhaps no more so than when, with bursts of comic vituperation which recall Kenneth Tynan at his best, he is seeing off those he regards as second-rate opponents. But probably more relevant is the sense among many readers and critics that Eagleton is providing a welcome antidote to the rather simple-minded conception of religion that Dawkins and Hitchens selected for their demolition jobs. He is rather like a wise old schoolmaster explaining to two eager young students that the significance of Hamlet is hardly exhausted by describing it as ‘a revenge drama.'
-Laurie Taylor, New Humanist Magazine

'Eagleton is one of Britain’s leading literary critics and writes with verve and humour.'
-Paul Goodliff, Baptist Times

‘A fascinating series of essays.’
-Financial Times