THE RECOVERY OF CHRISTIAN MYTH by Guilford III Dudley

THE RECOVERY OF CHRISTIAN MYTH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author's thesis is that Protestant churches, in their effort to counter the ""so-called decline of Christianity,"" have thrown overboard all of the concepts and language that they judge as failing to appeal to modernity. In consequence, Protestantism today is adrift. In particular, the abandonment of the mythology of apocalypse, as embodied in the Book of Revelation, needs to be recovered. Citing such data as the omission of this book of the New Testament from Church Curricula, the author attempts to show how widely it has been discarded, and claims that, in consequence, the church's worship, preaching, and social action, are all impotent to appeal to modern man. In contrast, apocalyptic is a recurrent type of myth in significant novels. The works of Dostoevsky, Thomas Mann, and lesser figures are analyzed to show the apocalyptic strain they contain. Scientific rationalism is identified by the author as a chief cause for the church's discard of myth. Unfortunately, he does not deal with the question of whether the same scientific temper may lead to the rejection of the fiction he cites. The book is informed by widely diffuse strands. Its polemic, and at times, dogmatic, tone, is not likely to win as much agreement to his thesis as it may deserve.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1967
Publisher: Westminster