A Novel

Martin Gardner

This intriguing work of contemporary fiction is disguised as the biography of a young man who comes from a Pentacostal background in Oklahoma, and loses his faith while a student at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His spiritual odyssey is narrated by his mentor, a professor at the divinity school-actually a humanist who believes neither in God nor in an afterlife. Although Peter never abandons his theism, he reaches a point where he questions his evangelical goals and even his relationship to the church.

The counterpoint between Peter and the narrator reflects the eternal conflict between theism and atheism. In following the changes of Peter's beliefs, almost every aspect of Protestant theology and ethics is explored. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is one of the book's central themes, and the symbolism of the color red winds through the story much as it does the Bible. The evolution of Peter's faith roughly parallels the evolution of Christian theology. From the day of Pentacost to contemporary liberal theology. Gardner chronicles Peter's adventures as a divinity school student, a sexual novitiate. a sailor aboard a US Navy destroyer, a Communist fellow-traveller, and on into maturity, revealing Peter's spiritual metamorphoses and fittal attitudes about religious faith. This edition includes Gardner's Afterword in which he discusses the surprising public reaction to his novel.

Martin Gardner (Hendersonville. NC), a founding Fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, was the author of the "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American for many years. Among his many books are The Healing Revelations of Mary Baker Eddy, Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus, The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher, and On the Wild Side.

280 pages Publication date 30th March,1995

ISBN 0-87975-911-9

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