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Belief or Nonbelief?: A Confrontation by Umberto Eco, Carlo Maria Martini

One is the beloved author of The Name of the Rose , a celebrated scholar, philosopher, and self-declared secularist; the other is a preeminent clergyman and a respected expert on the New Testament. In this intellectually stimulating dialogue, often adversarial but always amicable, these two great men, who stand on opposite sides of the church door, discuss some of the most controversial issues of our day, including the apocalypse, abortion, women in the clergy, and ethics. As we voyage onward into the new millennium, they frame a debate about matters that have already begun to rage, always aware of the gulf between belief and nonbelief that separates them, constantly probing and challenging, but also respectful of the other’s viewpoint. For believers and nonbelievers alike, the result is both edifying and illuminating. “Their correspondence,” writes Professor Harvey Cox in his introduction, “lifts the possibility of intelligent conversation on religion to a new level.”   

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611456899
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Publication date: 10/16/2012
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.20(d)

About the Author

Umberto Eco is a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna and the author of Foucault’s Pendulum, The Name of the Rose, and other international bestsellers. He lives in Milan, Italy.

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini is a member of the College of Cardinals at the Vatican.

Harvey Cox is Thomas Professor of Divinity at Harvard University and the author of The Secular City, Many Mansions, and Fire from Heaven.


Bologna, Italy

Date of Birth:

January 5, 1932

Date of Death:

February 19, 2016

Place of Birth:

Alessandria, Italy


Ph.D., University of Turin, 1954

Table of Contents

Introduction Harvey Cox 1

Secular Obsession with the Mew Apocalypse Umberto Eco 17

Hope Puts an End to "The End" Carlo Maria Martini 27

When Does Human Life Begin? Umberto Eco 36

Human Life Is Part of God's Life Carlo Maria Martini 45

Men and Women - According to the Church Umberto Eco 53

The Church Does Mot Fulfill Expectations, It Celebrates Mysteries Carlo Maria Martini 68

Where Does the Layman Find Illumination? Carlo Maria Martini 80

Ethics Are Born in the Presence of the Other Umberto Eco 89

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