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King of the Castle. Choice and Responsibility in the Modern World [Paperback]

Charles Le Gai Eaton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 13.99
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Book Description

1 Dec 1990 Islamic Texts Society
This book examines closely many of the unquestioned assumptions by which we live our lives, comparing them with the beliefs that have shaped and guided human life in the past. It begins with a consideration of how secular societies attempt to possess their citizens, body and soul and how, as a consequence, the necessity of redefining human responsibility becomes an ever more urgent imperative. The book continues with a presentation of the traditional view of man as 'God's Viceroy on Earth', with an eye to its practical implications in a world that has all but forgotten, under the pressure of mass social persuasion, that man must always be free to choose his own ultimate destiny. The author's thesis is a passionate yet incisive plea for the restoration of the sacred norms of religion, as against the debilitating and falsifying aims of a profane world-view based on no more than recent scientific and technological achievements.

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King of the Castle. Choice and Responsibility in the Modern World + Islam and the Destiny of Man + The Book of Hadith: Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad from the Mishkat Al Masabih
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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: The Islamic Texts Society; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Dec 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946621217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946621217
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Review

'This is an urgent piece of writing, a reading of what we are and where we are.' -- TLS

'This marvellous book...abounds with penetrating insights...The most remarkable quality of the book however is its courage.' (Fourth World Review) 'This is a book of the utmost importance to anyone concerned...with the really basic questions of human life.' -- Country Life

‘This is a book of the utmost importance to anyone concerned...with the really basic questions of human life.’ -- Country Life

‘This is an urgent piece of writing, a reading of what we are and where we are.’ -- TLS

‘This marvellous book...abounds with penetrating insights...The most remarkable quality of the book however is its courage.’ -- Fourth World Review

About the Author

Charles Le Gai Eaton was born in Switzerland and educated at Charterhouse and at King's College, Cambridge. He worked for many years as a teacher and journalist in Jamaica and Egypt (where he embraced Islam in 1951) before joining the British Diplomatic Service. He is now a consultant to the Islamic Cultural Centre in London.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inward Sense and Taste of Things... 16 Sep 2003
Format:Paperback
It was St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, who said in the preface to his 'Spiritual Exercises' that it is 'not the abundance of knowledge that fills and satifies the Soul, rather it is the inward sense and taste of things'. This book by Gai Eaton bears testimony to this truth. The influence of the author's friend T. S. Eliot pervades the book - Eliot's 'The Waste Land' acts as a sort of template for the very chapter structure (so that, for example, Chapter One is subtitled 'Unreal Cities'). But don't let the text's Modernist credentials put you off this book. For this book is not simply about to gather a few broken shards of civilisation into its 216 pages. Rather the book clearly identifies for its readers the cosmic role and responsibility of man. Man, says Eaton, is created to pray, not to work. For society to get a spiritual focus seems a pretty well-nigh impossible task, yet this is the call of this book. But unlike many books on a similar theme Eaton is able to suggest some realistic answers to life's problems. And the fundamental answer is getting one's relationship with God sorted.
Eaton quotes extensively from the bible as well as the Qur'an. If he didn't say so in his introduction, you never know that he was a Muslim. The perspective of the book is, however, totally God-centric. Remarkable and refreshing. A wake-up call to people of faith everywhere. Ultimately what's important claims Eaton (like St. Ignatius) is a real, living, faithful relationship with our maker. Not an abundance of knowledge.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if somewhat esoteric 15 Aug 2009
A Kid's Review
Format:Paperback
Having read "Islam and the Destiny of Man" and admired the author's style and eloquence, I turned to this, his earlier book published in 1977 with great expectations. To be honest, I was rather shocked to find he presented a much more serious almost harsh tone here. The book tread similar ground but Gai Eaton comes across as almost unforgiving and even dismissive as he brings modern society under scrutiny and invites us to challenge what we have come to take for granted. We are asked to question the norms that we allow to govern our lives on a daily basis and judge whether we have come to accept the pursuit of the mundane as a substitute for what should be our true, higher goals.
Without a doubt there is so much that is new and refreshing and eye-opening in this book and there is food for thought in abundance. Even so, I would label this book as one more accessible to intellectuals. As an ordinary person with a merely adequate education, I confess that I struggled with some of the finer points he was trying to make and maybe lacking the ability for refined thinking I began to suspect that it was bordering on repetitive. These reservations notwithstanding I have to point out that Gai Eaton is an original and compelling voice and one that we should be taking heed of in these times where the world often feels topsy-turvy and when we are witnessing the erosion of fundamental human values. If you're looking for an easier read I would heartily recommend "Islam and the Destiny of Man".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if somewhat esoteric 15 Aug 2009
A Kid's Review
Format:Paperback
Having read "Islam and the Destiny of Man" and admired the author's style and eloquence, I turned to this, his earlier book published in 1977 with great expectations. To be honest, I was rather shocked to find he presented a much more serious almost harsh tone here. The book tread similar ground but Gai Eaton comes across as almost unforgiving and even dismissive as he brings modern society under scrutiny and invites us to challenge what we have come to take for granted. We are asked to question the norms that we allow to govern our lives on a daily basis and judge whether we have come to accept the pursuit of the mundane as a substitute for what should be our true, higher goals.
Without a doubt there is so much that is new and refreshing and eye-opening in this book and there is food for thought in abundance. Even so, I would label this book as one more accessible to intellectuals. As an ordinary person with a merely adequate education, I confess that I struggled with some of the finer points he was trying to make and maybe lacking the ability for refined thinking I began to suspect that it was bordering on repetitive. These reservations notwithstanding I have to point out that Gai Eaton is an original and compelling voice and one that we should be taking heed of in these times where the world often feels topsy-turvy and when we are witnessing the erosion of fundamental human values. If you're looking for an easier read on similar subject matter I would recommend "Islam and the Destiny of Man".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 8 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Gai Eaton wanders through the assumptions 20th century life and beliefs are built upon. He writes from the position of a practising muslim who was not born into islam. The reason I enjoyed this book so much is that the author brings into his work content from a surprisingly wide array of sources, and does so with much skill.
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