On God: An Uncommon Conversation

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A&C Black, Nov 1, 2009 - God - 240 pages
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The final book from Norman Mailer, towering figure of American literature, in which he offers his concept of the nature of God
"I feel no attachment, whatsoever, to organized religion" wrote Norman Mailer. "I see God, rather, as a Creator, as the greatest artist. I see human beings as His most developed artworks." And in this collection of moving, amusing, probing, and uncommon dialogues conducted over three years before his death, Mailer establishes his own system of belief, one that rejects both organized religion and atheism. He presents instead a view of our world as one created by an artistic God who often succeeds but can also fail in the face of determined opposition by contrary powers in the universe with whom war is waged for the souls of humans. Mailer weighs the possibilities of "intelligent design," at the same time avowing that sensual pleasures were bestowed on us by God; he finds fault with the Ten Commandments-because adultery, he avers, may be a lesser evil than others suffered in a bad marriage; and he holds that technology was the Devil's most brilliant creation. In short, Mailer is original and unpredictable in this inspiring verbal journey, in which "God needs us as much as we need God."
Praise for "On God:
"[Displays] the glory of an original mind in full provocation."
"-USA Today"
"[Mailer's] theology is not theoretical to him. After eight decades, it is what he believes. He expects no adherents, and does not profess to be a prophet, but he has worked to forge his beliefs into a coherent catechism."
"-New York"
"At once illuminating and exciting . . . a chance to see Mailer's intellect as well as his lively conversational style of speech."
"-American Jewish Life"

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - shannonkearns - LibraryThing

this book was okay, but i don't agree with a lot of mailer's ideas about God and so the book drug on a bit. he repeated himself quite a bit and if you don't agree with his premise it gets to be tiring ... Read full review


On God as the Artist
God the Devil and Humankind
Purgatory Heaven and Hell
On the Authority of the Senses
Ritual and Telepathy
Intelligent Design
On Theodicy
On Gnosticism

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About the author (2009)

Norman Kingsley Mailer was born on January 31, 1923 in Long Branch, N. J. and then moved with his family to Brooklyn, N. Y. Mailer later attended Harvard University and graduated with a degree in aeronautical engineering. Mailer served in the Army during World War II, and later wrote, directed, and acted in motion pictures. He was also a co-founder of the Village Voice and edited Disssent for nine years. Mailer has written several books including: The Armies of the Night, which won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and a Polk Award; and The Executioner's Song, which won the Pulitzer Prize. In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. He published his last novel, The Castle in the Forest, in 2007. He died of acute renal failure on November 10, 2007.

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