After God: The Future of Religion

Overview

What is it about religion that, despite all odds, allows it to survive? In After God, the renowned scholar Don Cupitt considers the fate of religion, now that we have effectively killed off our gods. The author, a trained theologian and an ordained priest in the Church of England, takes us through the evolution of religious belief from the dawn of the gods to their twilight—as well as to the morning after.Tracing the postmodern pilgrimage from traditional belief to cynicism to faith after God, Cupitt says we need...

See more details below
Hardcover (REV)
$23.00
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$25.50 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $9.20   
  • Used (13) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

What is it about religion that, despite all odds, allows it to survive? In After God, the renowned scholar Don Cupitt considers the fate of religion, now that we have effectively killed off our gods. The author, a trained theologian and an ordained priest in the Church of England, takes us through the evolution of religious belief from the dawn of the gods to their twilight—as well as to the morning after.Tracing the postmodern pilgrimage from traditional belief to cynicism to faith after God, Cupitt says we need to build a new religious vocabulary. He challenges us to see religion less as an ideology and more as a tool kit, a set of techniques—perhaps an art form—enhancing our lives the way that literature and art do.”A heretic’s heretic” and ”an atheist priest,” Cupitt has respect for both skepticism and devotion. He neither accepts nor denies religion at face value; he takes faith to pieces, throws away what he can’t use, and assembles the remainder into new and extraordinary shapes, challenging us to creatively reshape it, give it new language, reinvent it.After God is for those who find it hard to be among the congregation of an orthodox religion but who miss the discipline and rewards of practicing a faith, and for the person who will understand Cupitt when he writes, ”I actually think that I love God more now that I know God is voluntary. Perhaps God had to die to purify our love for him.”

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Cupitt philosophy, Emmanuel Coll., Cambridge redefines what it means to believe in God while accepting that God does not exist. He argues that there is indeed an unseen intelligible, or spirit world, among us. But this world is made up of words and symbols. The world of religion is a mythical representation of the world of language. Cupitt's is a postmodern religion that sees God not as a transcendent reality but as a reflection of human selfhood. According to Cupitt, this conception of religion frees one from the belief in absolutes, which, he says, spells the death of religion. Human beings themselves are the only source of meaning and value. Belief in God, Cupitt holds, is a valuable and interesting form of consciousness. While Cupitt's analysis will not be accepted by many, his book offers a well-wrought argument. For larger theology/philosophy collections.Augustine J. Curley, O.S.B., Newark Abbey, N.J.
Kirkus Reviews
A postmodernist's shaky attempt to craft a theology in the twilight of the gods.

Cupitt (Philosophy and Theology/Cambridge Univ.) claims that the very foundations of contemporary religion have been threatened by a "collapse of meaning" that encompasses our current global culture. Rather than mourn this loss of traditional religious belief, Cupitt revels in the new opportunities of a postmodern religion unfettered by inconvenient categories such as sin and superstition. He first provides a thumbnail sketch of the philosophical legacy of the "old religions," drawing on thinkers such as Nietzsche, Kant, and Hegel. His cogent, artful explanations of complicated philosophical concepts are clearly the strength of the book. After these nubile expositions, however, Cupitt's own ideas for a postmodern religion fall flat. He proposes that three themes from traditional religion can be salvaged. The first principle, which Cupitt calls the "Eye of God," states that we should still act as though we believe in God, despite God's nonexistence, because this makes for a more mediated consciousness. The "Blissful Void" legacy, drawn from a trendy appropriation of Buddhist meditation that weaves through the book, claims that we should eradicate the self through meditation and a disappearance into the Cool Sublime. Finally, "Solar Ethics" requires that we should simply emanate our rays into the world, since in our postmodern culture "we ourselves are the only makers of meaning and value." Ultimately, now that God is dead, Cupitt believes that we will worship God more purely, since human beings always seem to have more regard for the dead than for the living. Religion will become art, a "poetical theology" that will rejuvenate our culture.

Cupitt too easily dismisses the resurgence of conservative religions as a "fad," ignoring the evidence that, in America at least, the "old religions" still seem to be meeting people's needs. It would seem that rumors of God's death have been greatly exaggerated.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465045143
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/1997
  • Series: Mastermind Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 160
  • Lexile: 1270L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Don Cupitt is a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He has held a variety of college and university appointments and has lectured widely on the philosophy of religion, ethics and Christian ethics, and religious studies. He is the author of over twenty books, including The Sea of Faith, which was produced as a BBC–TV series. He lives in Cambridge, England.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Souls, Spirits, and Gods 3
2 Why Spirits? 9
3 The First Gods 19
4 The Coming of God 27
5 God and Greek Philosophy 35
6 Where Are the Gods? 41
7 Mysticism 51
8 The End of Dogmatic Metaphysics 57
9 History and Humanism 63
10 Culture and Language 68
11 The Time of the Angels 74
12 The Legacy of the Old Religions 79
13 Naturalism, Philosophy, and Religion 91
14 Globalization and the End of the Other 95
15 The End of Morality and the Return of Ethics 101
16 Innocent Religion? 106
17 The Poetical Theology 110
18 World Religion 121
Bibliography 129
Index 135
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)