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Critical Essays on the Work of Lloyd Geering


A Religious Atheist? Critical Essays on the Work of Lloyd Geering

Edited by Raymond Pelly &Peter Stuart

Release 12 October 2006 / Paperback $39.95

A critical exploration of Geering's ideas

During his lifetime, internationally celebrated New Zealand thinker and author Lloyd Geering has published numerous thought-provoking books on the nature of religious belief - and has also been tried for heresy (in 1967).

So far there has been little serious critical writing on Lloyd Geering's now extensive work. A Religious Atheist? Critical Essays on the Work of Lloyd Geering critiques Geering's now well-known religious atheism in terms of its philosophical underpinnings. It is edited by theologians Raymond Pelly, Priest Associate at the Anglican Cathedral in Wellington, and Peter Stuart, Anglican priest in the Diocese of Wellington.

Contributors look at the justifications of 'Geeringism', in particular his rejection of the cognitive content (and other aspects) of Christian belief. They illuminate not only the specifics of his approach to the age-old questions 'How are we to live?' and 'What are we to believe?', but also the wider set of ideas from which such issues have arisen.

Geering's integrity, courage and well-earned status as a New Zealand icon are not questioned. The essays focus on his writings, asking questions around positions he has adopted. Central to this is the question of truth. They ask not 'was it courageous of Geering to say x, y, or z?', but 'is it true?'.

The contributors do not adopt one standpoint but argue according to criteria of their own choosing. They come from a variety of religious backgrounds: Anglican, Quaker, Jewish, Catholic, Atheist and Baptist.

A Religious Atheist? is published by Otago University Press.


Raymond Pelly (MA, DTheol) is Priest Associate at the Anglican Cathedral in Wellington. He has taught at St. John's College Auckland, the University of Massachusetts, and Westcott House, Cambridge. Recent publications include Auschwitz-Resurrection (2000), and Anchorhold. The Prayer of the Heart in Daily Life (2005). He is writing a book, Pilgrim to Unholy Places, which explores what meaning we can give to the 'sacred' in a radically de-sacralised world.

Peter Stuart (MA, NZ & Oxon) is an Anglican priest in the Diocese of Wellington, where he was Canon Theologian and Director of the Wellington Institute of Theology until recently. A historian and theologian, his interests include the theological education of lay and ordained people for ministry, and the relationship between Christianity and society, politics and higher education in New Zealand. He is also secretary to the Wellington Theological Consortium.

Lloyd Geering's autobiography, Wrestling with God: The Story of My Life is being published by Bridget Williams Books & Craig Potton Publishing 1 October 2006.

Publication details
A Religious Atheist? Critical Essays on the Work of Lloyd Geering
Edited by Raymond Pelly & Peter Stuart
Release: 12 October 2006
RRP $39.95


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