THE FOOL OF GOD by Louis Cochran


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This fictionalized biography of Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), the founder of The Disciples of Christ, opens when the youth is escorting his mother, brothers and sisters to the ship which is to take them to America to join their father. These opening chapters rival any fictional account of immigrants, bound for a new land, with their hopes and fears, the shipwreck off the Hebrides, their one year delay in Glasgow. But from the point of the family reunion in America on, the story reads like straight biography. Alexander and his father, a Presbyterian ""Seceder"" minister, form a religious group in Pennsylvania to promote Church unity based solely on the authority of the New Testament. Briefly, they merge with the Raptists. Campbell later takes an active part in political affairs in Virginia, publishes various newspapers, founds Bethany College, and lectures throughout the United States, England and Scotland. He died in the year he prophesied the Second Coming, 1866. While the major portion of the focus is on matters spiritual, the author gives cognizance to the personal aspects of Campbell's life,- an early love affair, his two marriages, his economic struggles, the weaker points of his eminently strong character. Almost inevitably, the novel falls into the pitfalls inherent in its subject,- didacticism and an unequal balance of fact and fiction. One questions its market among casual readers -- and the probability is that it will find its audience among the 2 million members of the denomination.

Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce