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Belief or Nonbelief? - Softcover

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9780826466815: Belief or Nonbelief?
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One is the beloved author of The Name of the Rose, a celebrated scholar, philosopher, and self-declared secularist; the other is a preeminent clergyman and a respected expert on the New Testament. In this intellectually stimulating dialogue, these two great men, who stand on opposite sides of the church door, discuss some of the most controversial issues of our day: the apocalypse, abortion, women in the clergy, and ethics. Their enlightened, spirited exchange will resonate with believers and nonbelievers alike.

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Review:
Umberto Eco is a famous scholar-novelist, and Cardinal Martini is a famous scholar-bishop. Eco is an urbane ex-Catholic. Cardinal Martini is an urbane prince of the Church. Belief or Nonbelief?, a little book of eight chapters, is a dialogue between them, first published by an Italian newspaper. Each author writes four alternating chapters addressing the hopes of humanity at the dawn of a new millennium, the question of the beginning of human life, the role of the Church, and how we can know Truth.

Belief or Non Belief? is a good idea, but it suffers from a couple of problems. The format and content are too obviously recycled newspaper articles. While the engaging, popular style is welcome, the necessary brevity of each chapter means arguments cannot be developed, and the reader is left vaguely dissatisfied. It would have been better if the authors had expanded the project. Both men write well in a sophisticated and polite Italian style that is entertaining at first, but it soon sounds artificial to the English reader. Finally, there are some difficulties in translation: for example, "illumination" is used instead of "enlightenment" and "layman" is consistently used where "non-Catholic" is probably intended. Despite these criticisms, Belief or Nonbelief? is a sharp little book giving a fresh perspective on age-old questions. --Dwight Longenecker

About the Author:
Umberto Eco is the author of The Name of the Rose and other novels, as well as numerous nonfiction works, including Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition. He lives in Bologna.

Carlo Maria Martini, member of the College of Cardinals at the Vatican, is the Archbishop of Milan.

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  • PublisherContinuum International Publis
  • Publication date2002
  • ISBN 10 0826466818
  • ISBN 13 9780826466815
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages112
  • Rating
    3.64 avg rating
    ( 1,938 ratings by Goodreads )
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9781559704977: Belief or Nonbelief?

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Publisher: Arcade Publishing, 2000
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9781559705738: Belief or Nonbelief?: A Dialogue Introduction By Harvey Cox

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: Near Fine. Reprint. 98 pp. A little scuffing to front cover. All else as new. "In this intellectually stimulating dialogue, often adversarial but always amicable, these two great men, who stand on opposite sides of the church door, discuss some of the most controversial issues of our day, including: The New Apocalypse; When Does Life Begin; Women in the Church; Ethics Without God; Violence and Intolerance." Size: 12mo. Seller Inventory # 006565

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