Pharisees & Fallacies: Myth and reality in religious thought

published by Steele Roberts

Reviewed by Pete Cowley

The very first page starts with a drawing and a caption: Audacious yet fallacious: Mythical traps and legendary pitfalls are often encountered on the path to historical understanding.
The very first paragraph sets out the nature of this journey “If a tilt at misconceptions is suspected at the outset of this book, that’s a fair anticipation. Fallacies are the central focus, and for most people these tend to make the most impact when exploded, and if they are of the religious variety they make an effective bang. This book examines some of the hardiest annuals; largely delusional or misunderstood concepts and convictions that have captivated spiritual thinking in the Western world for over two millennia.”
This sets the tone for the excellent and informative read. I was surprised to find I have fallen victim to many of the traps so clearly exposed in this book. Many of my own fallacies were indeed exploded. I knew that intimate knowledge of the historical context is important in understanding what was written, by whom, and for what audience, but my own lack of the necessary cultural framework led to many moments of enlightenment about why various misunderstandings, sometimes deliberate, have come about. It is a great read!
The chapters covered are:
  • Audacious yet Fallacious (the overview)
  • Jewish Villains
  • That Age of Gold
  • That Archaic Boat
  • Moses Supposes
  • The God-King
  • Holy — Wholly Holy
  • Saints Alive
  • Heaven and Hell
  • The End is Nigh
  • Queen of Heaven
  • Seven Times a Sinner
  • New Rage



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