Beyond Consolation: How We Became Too "clever" for God and Our Own Good

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A&C Black, Apr 22, 2010 - Religion - 229 pages
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In the late spring of 2008 the acclaimed Irish writer Nuala O' Faolain went on a national Irish radio programme to tell the Irish people that she was dying of cancer. She was frightened of death and of the short time left to her. 

Here was a spokesperson for a generation which now conjured up an abyss for itself, reviewing a culture she had inhabited and helped to create one last time. She believed neither in an afterlife nor in God.
With Nuala O' Faolain's broadcast as his point of departure, Waters examines this trajectory of Irish Culture to this point of despair. How reasonable is it to believe in nothing? He explores a new language to excavate the journey of Irish society from what appeared to be profound in its traditional faith to this moment of what might easily have been taken as a moment of nihilistic clarity. What modern men and women suffer from in modern culture is the lack of an idea of the infinite and the eternal.

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Not a light read, but a rigorous, thought-provoking journey by an individual who asks the hard questions.
Well worth the effort.


1 Give Me Back Yesterday
2 Where Every Tear Will Be Wiped Away
3 Winking at the Milky Way
4 The Silent Melody
5 Human Beings or Human Beans?
6 The Sabotage of Hope
7 The Dominion of What Is
8 The Keyhole of Reason
10 The Anatomy of Deabsolutisation
11 The Gulag of Unhope
12 Only Wonder Knows
13 The Tapestry of Hope
14 We Shall Have Stars at Elbow and Foot
15 Courtesy towards Christ
16 A Language to Hope In

9 The Poetics of Nothing

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About the author (2010)

John Waters is an author, playwright and newspaper columnist. He contributes to a number of publications in Britain and Ireland including a weekly column for The Irish Times and the Catholic weekly The Voice Daily. He lives in Dun Laoghaire.

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