Black Mass: How Religion Led The World Into Crisis by John Gray

By John Gray

Interesting, enlightening, and epic in scope, Black Mass seems on the ancient and glossy faces of Utopian ideology: Society’s Holy Grail, yet at what price?

During the final century worldwide politics was once formed by way of Utopian tasks. Pursuing a dream of an international with out evil, strong states waged struggle and practised terror on an extraordinary scale. From Germany to Russia to China to Afghanistan, complete societies have been destroyed.

Utopian ideologies rejected conventional faiths and claimed to be established in technology. They have been truly secular types of the parable of Apocalypse–the trust in a world-changing occasion that brings background, with all its conflicts, to an finish. The warfare in Iraq used to be the final of those makes an attempt at making a secular Utopia, promising a brand new period of democracy and generating blood-soaked anarchy and an rising theocracy instead.

John Gray’s strong and scary new ebook argues that the dying of Utopia doesn't suggest peace. as a substitute it portends the resurgence of historic myths, now in brazenly fundamentalist kinds. Obscurely combined with geo-political struggles for the keep an eye on of common assets, apocalyptic faith has again as an immense strength in worldwide conflict.

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Jesus and his followers believed they lived in an End-Time when the evils of the world were about to pass away. Sickness and death, famine and hunger, war and oppression would all cease to exist after a world-shaking battle in which the forces of evil would be utterly destroyed. Such was the faith that inspired the first Christians, and though the End-Time was re-interpreted by later Christian thinkers as a metaphor for a spiritual change, visions of Apocalypse have haunted western life ever since those early beginnings.

Manicheism spread as far as China, adopting some of the imagery and symbolism of Buddhism in the process. Throughout these transformations the Manichees retained their belief that evil could never be eradicated. On this point the religion of Mani differs radically from Zoroastrianism and from the teaching of Jesus. Manichean dualism entered into Gnosticism, which despite being persecuted by Christianity reappeared in many different guises right up to modern times. Gnosticism is a tradition of forbidding complexity, but its central vision of a dark world governed by demonic forces had a profound impact on the history of religion.

He has a sharp eye and a vivid writing style. ” The Ottawa Citizen BY THE SAME AUTHOR False Dawn: Delusions of Global Capitalism Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals Al Qaeda and What it Means to be Modern Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions THE SENATOR: This is an abyss into which it is better not to look. THE COUNT: My friend, we are not free not to look. Joseph de Maistre, St Petersburg Dialogues1 Black Mass, df. A sacrilegious ritual in which the Christian Mass is performed backwards.

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