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Hating God: The Untold Story of Misotheism [Hardcover]

Bernard Schweizer

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Book Description

Nov. 18 2010
While atheists have now become public figures, there is another and perhaps darker strain of religious rebellion that has remained out of sight - people who hate God. In this revealing book, Bernard Schweizer looks at men and women who do not question God's existence, but deny that He is merciful, competent, or good. Sifting through a wide range of literary and historical works, Schweizer finds that people hate God for a variety of reasons. Some are motivated by social injustice, human suffering, or natural catastrophes that God does not prevent. Some blame God for their personal tragedies. Schweizer concludes that, despite their blasphemous thoughts, these people tend to be creative and moral individuals, and include such literary lights as Friedrich Nietzsche, Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston, and Philip Pullman. Schweizer shows that literature is a fertile ground for God haters. Many authors, who dare not voice their negative attitude to God openly, turn to fiction to give vent to it. Indeed, Schweizer provides many new and startling readings of literary masterpieces, highlighting the undercurrent of hatred for God.

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"In Hating God, Bernard Schweizer distinguishes between atheists---those who conclude from the arbitrary and cruel acts of God that he does not exist---and misotheists---those who believe in God but engage in a life-long struggle with his apparent indifference to the world he has created. It is misotheists, those who wrestle with God in the manner of Jacob and Job, who create the rich literary tradition Schweizer so persuasively illuminates in this important book."--Stanley Fish, author of The Fugitive in Flight: Faith, Liberalism, and Law in a Classic TV Show

"Bernard Schweizer makes a long overdue distinction between atheism -- the denial of God's existence -- and misotheism -- the morally inspired hatred of God, and, in the process, reintroduces us to some of the most subversive religious thinkers who have ever lived, from Friedrich Nietzsche to Gore Vidal and Zora Neale Hurston. Hating God is one of the most exhilarating excursions into religious studies that you will ever take!"

--Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

"Schweizer skilfully plumbs pathology and pathos among real and imagined agonizers."--The Journal of Theological Studies

About the Author

Bernard Schweizer is Associate Professor of English at Long Island University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars misotheism - a shady religious phenomenon brought to light April 2 2011
By Rolando Monello - Published on Amazon.com
Schweizer's book presents an amazingly new kettle of fish on the religious scene, which I have been studying academically for years. I wonder if the concept of "misotheism," which fills a gap in the system of religious classification, will spawn a following, one that either applauds the literati of his mentioning or alternatively stands up for their own views which, I surmise, may have been subconsciously tucked away. Mister Schweizer is shedding light on an area, which has surprisingly enough remained unnoticed until he blew some cobwebs from the book-covers of the classics and opened their content to a fresh viewing. Aware of the diverse emotions the misotheistic view may elicit, I hope the mere observation of an intellectual and literary stratum does not attract a negative response in defense of a deity, whose existence amazingly enough is not questioned but in a twisted manner reinforced by the misotheists. A believer in God may have a "problem" with Satanism as a form of opposition to her deity, but a negative reinforcement of God might be a worse position yet - and so the miso-misotheist would be born. I congratulate Mister Schweizer for the discovery of a phenomenon hiding in plain sight.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hating God Jan. 24 2011
By QuestioningBeliever - Published on Amazon.com
I was immediately drawn to this book because it presents a completely new class of religious rebellion.
In response to the increasing attention being given to atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, this book seems to have found an emerging populace that have become increasingly more vocal about their feelings of discontent towards God.

In this book (which I have read and really enjoyed) Schweizer explains how this sort of god hatred has been around for many years, and because of the fear associated with expressing such blasphemous beliefs, was expressed primarily through literature. The book illustrates how literary giants such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston, Rebecca West, Elie Wiesel, and Philip Pullman all felt profound hatred towards God.

When I look at the world today, with increasing secularism, religiously motivated mass bloodshed, and considerable feelings of disillusionment in personal faith, this book seems to outline a lot of the sentiments that have apparently been around for a long time, but have not, until now, been openly discussed.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read Sept. 24 2011
By Lorenzo Lorenzo Luaces Valencia - Published on Amazon.com
Not an atheist book or not so much a 'how to' or 'why' guide on nonbelieving or hating God. Instead this book discusses the surprisingly vast, sometimes subtle, literary tradition of hating god(s). I couldn't think of a reasons why believers would want to read it but it should be enjoyable and informative for the rest of us
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Worth Reading Jan. 14 2013
By LookingBothWays - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I learned a lot of valuable information from this book that I hadn't known; it's easily the equivalent of a college class in itself.
I call the information valuable not only from a scholarly point of view but because it also nourished me in a spiritual sense.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 6 2014
By Walter Desmond - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A most unusual publication. Got it primarily for the essay on Peter Shaffer's "Equus."

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