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Of God and Man

Zygmunt Bauman, Stanislaw Obirek, Katarzyna Bartoszynska (Translated by)

ISBN: 978-0-745-69572-3 August 2015 Polity 180 Pages


In this engaging dialogue, Zygmunt Bauman, sociologist and philosopher, and Stanislaw Obirek, theologian and cultural historian, explore the place of spirituality and religion in the world today and in the everyday lives of individuals. Their conversation ranges from the plight of monotheistic religions cast onto a polytheistic world stage to the nature of religious experience and its impact on human worldviews and life strategies; from Messianic and Promethean ideas of redemption and salvation to the possibility and prospects of inter-religious dialogue and the factors standing in its way.

While starting from different places, Bauman and Obirek are driven by the same concern to reconcile the multiplicity of religions with the oneness of humanity, and to do so in a way that avoids the trap of adhering to a single truth, bearing witness instead to the multiplicity of human truths and the diversity of cultures and faiths. For everything creative in human existence has its roots in human diversity; it is not human diversity that turns brother against brother but the refusal of it. The fundamental condition of peace, solidarity and benevolent cooperation among human beings is a willingness to accept that there is a multiplicity of ways of being human, and a willingness to accept the model of coexistence that this multiplicity requires.

Preface vii

I Preliminary Measures 1

II What about This Religion? On the Threat of Fundamentalism – Not Only the Religious Kind 14

III The Literati in Aid of Blundering Thought 34

IV Sources of Hope 46

V Fusion of Horizons 67

VI The Disinherited; or, Creating Tradition Anew 81

VII God or Gods? The Gentle Face of Polytheism 107

Without Conclusions 115

Notes 117

Index 122

"Engaging and thoroughly thought-provoking, stimulating and brimming with a theological analysis that is ultimately enticing to say the least, Of God and Man, is many things – predominantly that of a search for clarity and some kind of behavioural understanding."
David Marx Book Reviews