Treatise on the Gods

Front Cover
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997 - Religion - 319 pages
12 Reviews
H. L. Mencken is perhaps best known for his scathing political satire. But politicians, as far as Mencken was concerned, had no monopoly on self-righteous chest-thumping, deceit, and thievery. He also found religion to be an adversary worthy of his attention and, in Treatise on the Gods, he offers some of his best shots, a choreographed cannonade. Mencken examines religion everywhere, from India to Peru, from the myths of Egypt to the traditional beliefs of America's Bible Belt. He compares Incas and Greeks, examines doctrines, dogmas, sacred texts, heresies, and ceremonies. He ranges far and wide, but returns at last to the subject that most provokes him: Christianity. He reviews the history of the Church and its founders. "It is Tertullian who is credited with the motto, Credo, quia absurdum est: I believe because it is incredible. Needless to say, he began life as a lawyer." Mencken is no less interested in the dissidents: "The Reformers were men of courage, but not many of them were intelligent." Against the old-time religion of fellow countrymen, Mencken posed as a figure of old-time skepticism, and he reaped the whirlwind. Controversial even before it was published in 1930. Treatise on the Gods remains what its author wished it to be: the plain, clear challenge of honest doubt.

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Review: Treatise on the Gods

User Review  - Noah Stacy - Goodreads

Mencken's prejudices and some of his facts are umistakably dated, and inevitably peek through here and there. For all that, he remains engaging, intelligent, and enjoyable. Highly recommended for the more serious atheists and agnostics. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - uufnn - LibraryThing

Chapter topics include the nature and origin of religion; its evolution; its varieties; its Christian form; its state today. Read full review

Contents

The Nature and Origin of Religion
3
Its Evolution
51
Its Varieties
109
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

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