And Man Created God: Is God a Human Invention?

Overview

A debate of perennial interest, addressing one of the oldest questions posed to religious believers—if God made everything, who made God?

Most recently leveled by the New Atheists, the question of the likelihood that God is a human invention was first asked in ancient Greece and has preoccupied religious believers for centuries ever since. Here, renowned scholar Robert Banks explores the history of this objection—from its earliest vocalization in the ancient world to its most ...

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And Man created God

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Overview

A debate of perennial interest, addressing one of the oldest questions posed to religious believers—if God made everything, who made God?

Most recently leveled by the New Atheists, the question of the likelihood that God is a human invention was first asked in ancient Greece and has preoccupied religious believers for centuries ever since. Here, renowned scholar Robert Banks explores the history of this objection—from its earliest vocalization in the ancient world to its most famous advocates, including Freud, Marx, and others—and offers compelling evidence that takes both sides of the argument into account. Ideal for those with a general interest in New Atheism or for those studying religion, this informative guide will offer readers the chance to sort out once and for all what—if any—elements of their idea of God are man-made.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[Robert] Banks's analysis of the early house churches in their historical context has no parallel, either in content or reader accessibility."  —S. Scott Bartchy, professor, University of California, on Paul's Idea of Community

"The recovery of theology of, for, and by the ordinary Christian will take more than one good book. But this volume makes a significant contribution. Robert Banks views biblical theology as essentially subversive. It insists on addressing the center of our lives rather than the circumference. . . . This book is about the heart of it—the God invasion of our seven-day week with transcendent meaning and joy. Read it."  —R. Paul Stevens, professor, Regent College, on Redeeming the Routines

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745955438
  • Publisher: Lion Hudson
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Banks completed his doctorate in theology at Cambridge and recently retired as professor of the ministry of the laity and chair of the ministry division at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He has also been the recipient of the Book of the Year award from Christianity Today and is the author of Faith in Leadership, Faith Goes to Work, Going to Church in the First Century, Paul's Idea of Community, Reenvisioning Theological Education, and The Church Comes Home.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7

Foreword 9

Part 1 Back on the Public Agenda 15

1 The Renewal of an Old Attack on Religion 17

Part 2 Early Advocates of a Sceptical View 33

2 A New Challenge to the Gods 35

3 Its Later Uptake and Turnaround 45

Part 3 Four Leading Modern Approaches 61

4 God as the Product of Human Wishes: Ludwig Feuerbach 63

5 God as a Substitute for Oppressive Conditions: Karl Marx 80

6 God as a Projection of Repressed Desires: Sigmund Freud 96

7 God as the Symbol of Human Potential: Erich Fromm 112

Part 4 A Time for Self-Examination 131

8 Facing Up to the Personal Challenge 133

Notes 149

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