GODS AND GAMES by David L. Miller


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Professor Miller notes the increasing fondness of the academic world for interpreting human experience in terms of game-theory and play-theory -- not only in social intercourse, but also in sociology, philosophy, psychology, literature, art, religion, and even in mathematics. It is a tendency which almost corresponds to medieval man's ""Christian view,"" his sub specie aeternitatis, and that though leads the author into a game of his own: the determination of the religious significance of the life-is-a-game myth. The origins, history and pervasiveness of the myth are investigated, and then an interpretation of play-mythology, both generally and in relation to traditional religious beliefs, is undertaken. The foregoing, however, are merely in the nature of Instructions to the Player. The game itself is played out when the author, incorporating yet another myth into religious_ thought, attempts a theology of play, or rather, a ""playful theology"" about the transcendental and subsistent Being ""which is Joy."" Obviously, if theologians must join in the fun, Gods and Games is at least a tentative toe stuck into an artificial pond. It would, all be a lot more fun, however, and perhaps a better game, if the author were not so-intent on attempting to be humorous as well as original.

Pub Date: Nov. 24th, 1969
Publisher: World