Synopses & Reviews
Throughout the ages, many of the world's greatest thinkers have wrestled with the concept of -- and belief in -- God. It may seem unlikely that any new arguments or insights could be raised, but the twentieth century managed to produce two brilliant men with two diametrically opposed views about the question of God: Sigmund Freud and C. S. Lewis. They never had an actual meeting, but in andlt;Iandgt;The Question of God,andlt;/Iandgt; their arguments are placed side by side for the very first time. andlt;BRandgt; For more than twenty-five years, Armand Nicholi has taught a course at Harvard that compares the philosophical arguments of both men. In andlt;Iandgt;The Question of God,andlt;/Iandgt; Dr. Nicholi presents the writings and letters of Lewis and Freud, allowing them to "speak" for themselves on the subject of belief and disbelief. Both men considered the problem of pain and suffering, the nature of love and sex, and the ultimate meaning of life and death -- and each of them thought carefully about the alternatives to their positions. andlt;BRandgt; The inspiration for the PBS series of the same name, andlt;Iandgt;The Question of Godandlt;/Iandgt; does not presuppose which man -- Freud the devout atheist or Lewis the atheist-turned-believer -- is correct in his views. Rather, readers are urged to join Nicholi and his students and decide for themselves which path to follow.
"A marvelous new book that showcases the debate over such ultimate questions as God, love and the meaning of life." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"The Question of God is provocative and compellingly written." Francis Collins, National Public Radio
"Although there's no record of Freud and Lewis actually meeting...Nicholi makes readers wish they had in this earnest and thought-provoking volume." The Boston Herald
"Palatable food for thought for readers preoccupied with life's big, ultimately insoluble questions." Kirkus Reviews
Includes bibliographical references (p. 282-285) and index.
After years of studying Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis and teaching a popular course at Harvard University comparing the two, renowned educator and psychiatrist Armand M. Nicholi, Jr. distills the key arguments of both men and examines how they confronted the question of God in their own lives. Soon to be a four-part PBS series.
About the Author
Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr. is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has an active practice as a psychiatrist and serves as a consultant to government groups, corporations, and professional athletes. He is married, with two children, and lives in Concord, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: WHAT SHOULD WE BELIEVE?
1. The Protagonists: The Lives of Sigmund Freud and C. S. Lewis
2. The Creator: Is There an Intelligence Beyond the Universe?
3. Conscience: Is There a Universal Moral Law?
4. The Great Transition: Which Road to Reality?
PART TWO: HOW SHOULD WE LIVE?
5. Happiness: What Is the Source of Our Greatest Enjoyment in Life?
6. Sex: Is the Pursuit of Pleasure Our Only Purpose?
7. Love: Is All Love Sublimated Sex?
8. Pain: How Can We Resolve the Problem of Suffering?
9. Death: Is Death Our Only Destiny?