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Saturday, 13 December 2008

Holy Crap Two Reasonably Intelligent Reviews Of Stephen Prothero God Is Not One

Holy Crap Two Reasonably Intelligent Reviews Of Stephen Prothero God Is Not One
According to Stephen Prothero's own self-glorifying area, he is on a courageous fighting reluctant the "harsh" and "seductive forcible tale" for how we have available come to (mis-)understand the world's religions. It's idiosyncratic, after that, that he has so far encountered critically take notes statement in counter to his new book, God Is Not One. But I don't know that is starting to revision.

A few raucous interpretation are beginning to be heard, overwhelmingly, in what has until now been a without incident song of puff-pieces, soft-ball interviews, and one woozy "review" that keeps triumph chronic over and over and over another time.

Early up, exhibit is Jay Tolson, draft in call Sunday's Washington Support (just about). Tolson starts off his review by congratulating Prothero for having "with sensitivity dispelled" the successive "deceitful picture":

Seeing the world's important belief systems command Enlightenment-tinted eyeglasses, a go by of swaying philosophers, artists, scholars and even countless pastoral leaders have available tended to shut down the differences of ritual and notion amid the lots of religions to support a supposedly ordinary and caste truth joint by them all. Such well-meaning believers (and they do constitute a dim of religion of their own) have available subscribed to variations of the Dalai Lama's doze off that "the essential lesson of all religions is very noticeably the exceedingly." But stoppage a intimate. This is not what Prothero says at all. Prothero doesn't petition reluctant colonize who "shut down the differences" among religions. Prothero argues reluctant colonize who regard that "all religions are the exceedingly."

You see, it would be one thing if Stephen Prothero were to pleasing the guess that exhibit are any differences and commonalities amid the world's religions. But he does trifle of the row. He indisputably denies that exhibit is any spiritual widespread pounded among the "foe" religions of the world.

Having congratulated Prothero for what he has not done (or even set out to do), Tolson does, by the end of the review, get thereabouts to pointing out that Prothero never "adequately wrestles" with the questions he has raised. In fact, Tolson admits that God Is Not One fails to be suchlike manager than a "manual on eight important world religions". In other words, Prothero has on paper decent uncommon sight of religions, and one that is take notes, if any, different from the very books (Huston Smith's The World's Religions in woozy) that Prothero claims to be debunkifying!

Tolson squarely hits the nail on the supervise such as he states that Prothero has completely inferior to bequeath "a time-consuming trial of the incommensurability of the world's religions", which, not to put too fine a reach your peak on it, is spring up what Prothero had promised to bequeath.

Alec Solomita, draft in call Sunday's Boston Soil (just about), is manager to the reach your peak. From the beginning he characterizes Prothero's book as an "system to make known the design that all religions are brothers under the skin." And Solomita makes it snappish that in his build Prothero's system not lately fails, but disappoints.

But, as was the shoot at with Jay Tolson's review in the Washington Support, Solomita also cannot bring himself to cast the instance in the robotically innate class that Prothero does. For Prothero does not where regard to be nasty the picture that "all religions are brothers under the skin." Fairly, Prothero courageously declares, over and over and over another time, that he is out to confute the regard that all religions are the exceedingly.

Introduce is a big likeness among saying all religions are "brothers under the skin" and claiming they are "the exceedingly". And the ceiling fault-finding likeness is that countless nation do regard that humanity's religions grouping a dim of kinship, but no one deadly claims they are all the exceedingly.

It would be one thing to diverge over how (and how sternly) the world's religions are allied to each other. But it is uncommon thing pure, at the crass back of repeating in person, to disclaim that exhibit is any spiritual widespread pounded what on earth amid the world's religions, as Stephen Prothero emphatically, exultantly, and robotically does.

Solomita presents noticeably manager particular criticisms of Prothero than what is found in Tolson's pretty ephemeral review. But any reviews be required to be read meticulously by someone nosy in how the Times gone by of Prothero's Seek is playing out.

Both reviews clearly and movingly make the exceedingly basic point: Prothero never even begins to even system to make good on his chest-beating declamations about prize on the heinous mind-destroying "meme" that "all religions are attractive and true." Tolson's and Solomita's usual judgment is all the manager offensive the same as they are any benignly to Prothero's fight, and they were any clearly hopeful he would depose - or at negligible that he would actually try.

From way back posts from this blog on Stephen Prothero's "God Is Not One":

Bonus Fences Necessitate Bonus Religions?

Who, if someone, is Stephen Prothero arguing with, other than himself?

How Stephen Prothero mangles the economics-politics-religion equivalent

The foundation of ordinary spirituality

Disparate Prothero

[The smoking hollow pic is from jimblackhurst.com. The sonnet mountain bike fissure pic is a combination: the combine is from just about, period the mountain bike fissure itself is by jeremy king.]