Coverart for item
The Resource Strange gods : a secular history of conversion, Susan Jacoby

Strange gods : a secular history of conversion, Susan Jacoby

Label
Strange gods : a secular history of conversion
Title
Strange gods
Title remainder
a secular history of conversion
Statement of responsibility
Susan Jacoby
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In a groundbreaking historical work that addresses religious conversion in the West from an uncompromisingly secular perspective, Susan Jacoby challenges the conventional narrative of conversion as a purely spiritual journey. From the transformation on the road to Damascus of the Jew Saul into the Christian evangelist Paul to a twenty-first-century religious marketplace in which half of Americans have changed faiths at least once, nothing has been more important in the struggle for reason than the right to believe in the God of one s choice or to reject belief in God altogether. Focusing on the long, tense convergence of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each claiming possession of absolute truth Jacoby examines conversions within a social and economic framework that includes theocratic coercion (unto torture and death) and the more friendly persuasion of political advantage, economic opportunism, and interreligious marriage. Moving through time, continents, and cultures the triumph of Christianity over paganism in late antiquity, the Spanish Inquisition, John Calvin's dour theocracy, Southern plantations where African slaves had to accept their masters religion the narrative is punctuated by portraits of individual converts embodying the sacred and profane. The cast includes Augustine of Hippo; John Donne; the German Jew Edith Stein, whose conversion to Catholicism did not save her from Auschwitz; boxing champion Muhammad Ali; and former President George W. Bush. The story also encompasses conversions to rigid secular ideologies, notably Stalinist Communism, with their own truth claims. Finally, Jacoby offers a powerful case for religious choice as a product of the secular Enlightenment. In a forthright and unsettling conclusion linking the present with the most violent parts of the West's religious past, she reminds us that in the absence of Enlightenment values, radical Islamists are persecuting Christians, many other Muslims, and atheists in ways that recall the worst of the Middle Ages
Summary
A provocative social history of the secular forces driving conversion in the Western world refutes beliefs about personal reinvention and divine grace to explore such factors as the unifications between church and state, interreligious marriage, faith change in adulthood and the forced conversions of slaves
Tone
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10470267
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1945-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Jacoby, Susan
Dewey number
204/.2
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Conversion
  • Conversion
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a secular history of conversion
Label
Strange gods : a secular history of conversion, Susan Jacoby
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn909925221
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition
Extent
xi, 464 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780375423758
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2015019062
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)909925221
Label
Strange gods : a secular history of conversion, Susan Jacoby
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn909925221
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition
Extent
xi, 464 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780375423758
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2015019062
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)909925221

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