Prometheus Books, 2010
“God and His Demons is filled with sparkling insights, sly wit, and beautiful writing of a kind we have come to expect from Michael Parenti. He strips away the virtuous pretenses of self-proclaimed religionists throughout the world, and he does it with evidence and arguments that are historically and biblically informed. A riveting read that I recommend to all.” —Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land
“In God and His Demons Michael Parenti spins a fascinating and compelling narrative.... ” —Tom Pollard, Professor of Social Sciences at National University, San Jose, CA
The New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, Harper's, the Nation, and the Antioch Review are among the many publications that have praised Parenti's work.
Michael Parenti brings his critical acumen and gifted writing skills to bear on the dark side of religion, the many evils committed in the name of godly virtue throughout history. This is not a blanket condemnation of all believers. The focus is on the threat posed by fundamentalists and theocratic reactionaries. Historically anchored and biblically informed, this eloquent indictment of organized religionís delusions and abuses will be welcomed by secular laypersons and progressive religionists alike.
Parenti delves into a wide and fascinating range of subjects:
- The harsh narratives of the Old and New Testaments, from the appalling accounts of violence, draconian justice, and moral turpitude in the older books of the Bible to the latent anti-Semitism in the New Testament.
- Creationism and intelligent design in both laughably crude and sophisticated forms.
- The duplicities of gurus, with a revealing scrutiny of such icons as Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, various US televangelists, the Dalai Lama, and even Jesus himself.
- The hypocrisies of "family-values" religionists and politicos, their rapacious financial schemes and frauds.
- The sexual predation, pedophilia, and criminal cover-ups perpetrated under the cloak of religion.
- The totalitarian theocratic goals of Christian and Islamic extremists, and the Shangri-La myths about feudal Old Tibet.
- The growing strength of secular freethinkers and liberal theologians who are doing battle against the intolerant theocratic usurpers of public life.
Table of Contents
Part I All in the Bible
1. Up from Heaven
Part II Divine Design?
2. The Great Exterminator
3. The Great Abominator
4. The Other Face of Our Sweet Savior
5. Who Killed Jesus and All Those Other Jews?
6. Working His Blunders in Mysterious Ways
Part III When the Ethereal Becomes Material
7. Jiffy Creation, Dubious Design
8. Mother Teresa, John Paul, and the Fast-Track Saints
Part IV Hypocrites, Reactionaries, and Vipers
9. Cashing In on Heaven
10. Moneyed Gurus and Cults
11. God, Left and Right
Part V Theocracy, Past, Present, and Future
12. The Pious Predators
13. Politicos and Other Pharisees
14. Church in State
15. The Return of Totalitarian Theocracy
16. For Lords and Lamas
17. Goodbye Shangri-La
18. Secularism Rising?