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God Without God: Western Spirituality Without the Wrathful King Paperback – 30 May 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: O Books (30 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846941024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846941023
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 771,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


this is a compelling book, challenging Christians and atheists alike. He presents a deeply authentic spirituality which reaches into the profound mystery at the centre of Christian faith. --Rt Revd Laurie Green, Bishop of Bradwell

Writing with an admirable lucidity and following a tight line of argument, Michael Hampson outlines a credible Christian theology for the twenty-first century. --Canon David Peacock, Former Pro-Rector, University of Surrey Roehampton

Western Christianity is at a major impasse, and this book gives you the major reasons why. As long as we have a punitive, petty God, whose love is entirely conditional, how can we expect history to be any different? Thank you, Michael Hampson! --Fr Richard Rohr OFM, author of " Everything Belongs"

From the Inside Flap

The Christian faith stands accused of arrogance,
hypocrisy, abuse of power, imperialism, dictatorship and
genocide, discredited variously by science, rationalism,
pluralism, Vatican politics and protestant
fundamentalism, and finally rendered obsolete by
democracy, wealth, technology, and even the church's
own liberal wing. Once the monopoly player in the
western spiritual marketplace, it looks increasingly like a
bankrupt corporation destroyed by the weight of its own

God without God has no argument with science or
atheism or pluralism - indeed it takes these as its
premises, then sets out to explore what remains of the
western spiritual tradition. It finds right at the heart of
that tradition a concept of the divine far more complex
and mysterious than that which the atheist rightly rejects.
We move beyond theism and atheism to consider the
mystery of existence itself, discovering a tradition full of
contemporary resonance, with a profound and timeless
integrity for body, mind and spirit.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Burgess on 21 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
I approached this book with high hopes, having enjoyed the author's previous work on the current state of the Church of England and being drawn by his title: the project of rethinking Western spirituality without the traditional image of a judging regal God is still one that the churches badly need to engage in. Apart from redefining some key areas of Christian life and thought, however, Michael Hampson does not go far into his chosen subject. His book is also strangely constructed. He devotes fifty pages to issues of sexuality, but in them for the most part does little more than set out current areas of concern or interest (these include intersex and mosaicism - no, I had never heard of that either), while offering not much in the way of analysis of how they relate to his main theme. As one who has suffered from prejudice against gays in the Church he naturally wishes to demonstrate the validity and equality of homosexual eros, but a lot of this part reads like special pleading.
Michael Hampson has a very rosy view of the Roman Catholic Church which he clearly does not know from the inside. As one who has made the journey from Anglicanism to Rome it is apparent to me that the wrathful king image of God is alive and well for many Catholics. He can even be said to be making a bit of a come-back after the Vatican II interlude. Official documents and statements often give a most misleading impression of what things are really like in the Church, especially when read in Michael Hampson's way of giving every possible benefit of the doubt. In fact he seems so eager to align contemporary Roman Catholicism with his renewed spirituality that he sounds a little like the old style of Anglo-Catholic who would automatically laud to the skies all things Roman while equally automatically denigrating everything Anglican.
Perhaps it was too much to expect a comprehensive treatment of a wide-ranging theme. Michael Hampson offers a useful sketch of one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
God without God 14 Jan. 2011
By Bow - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I finally got the image out of my head of an "old man God" up in the sky judging us for our wrongdoing.
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