Hitchens gets a hug

New York magazine has a funny, pungent interview with Christopher Hitchens, sparked by his new book “God Is Not Great.”

I read a chapter of it in a bookstore recently, and was disappointed by what I read. Hitchens invoked novels as proofs, for instance, and the book itself is long-winded compared to something like Bertrand Russell’s “Why I Am Not A Christian.”

But in the interview Hitchens shows a more flexible mind than I’d expected. And he is pithy (though one can never really tell in Q&A formats). I suspect the interviewer pared down his real thoughts on Jewish Hellenism and the impact of Hellenism on Christianity and even Islam. Hitchens surely knows that these religions are infused with Hellenism, but that they’ve resisted to varying degrees the Hellenistic subjugation of the mystical to reason. He also must know that even amongst the Greeks, reason won out primarily in the upper crust, spwaning a kind of ennui that was no help to the Greeks as Rome rose. In any case, perhaps I’ll look at his book again (though Lord knows, Hitchens is just the latest in a long line to argue the point in his title).

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