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The Terror of Existence

From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd
Narrated by: Jack Wynters
Length: 4 hrs and 45 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

The cultural death of God has created a conundrum for intellectuals. How could a life stripped of ultimate meaning be anything but absurd? How was man to live? How could he find direction in a world of no direction? What would he tell his children that could make their lives worthwhile? What is the ground of morality? 

Existentialism is the literary cri de coeur resulting from the realization that without God, everything good, true, and beautiful in human life is destined to be destroyed in a pitiless material cosmos. Theodore Dalrymple and Kenneth Francis examine the main existentialist works, from Ecclesiastes to the Theatre of the Absurd, each man coming from a different perspective. Francis is a believer, Dalrymple is not, but both empathize with the struggle to find meaning in a seemingly meaningless universe. 

Part literary criticism, part philosophical exploration, this book holds many surprising gems of insight from two of the most interesting minds of our time.

©2018 Anthony M. Daniels and Kenneth Francis (P)2018 New English Review Press

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  • Tal
  • 2019-02-04

Great book

Great book. I like the disposition of the author. Christians have a point there. Recommended

3 people found this helpful

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  • Carl R. Berner
  • 2020-07-24

Excellent choices of philosophers, theologians...

What a cogent argument from both sides, well presented and represented by each authors defenders. Also, the narrator was superb. Thank you for an enjoyable and enlightening listen.

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  • 20shop11
  • 2020-01-28

Theism does not win, but secularism loses.

An informative and thoughtful collection of essays analyzing the great works of existential and nihilist literature and how this literature both expressed and prepared the West for embracing the divorce of faith and reason thereby ushering in the present postmodernist decadence---itself another failed post-Enlightenment project---and the death of meaning. Nietzsche's Parable of a Madman fairly captures the post-Darwinian dilemma wrought by the "Death of God" and the loss of human agency as reductionist naturalism asserts that only science can give humanity complete and reliable knowledge of reality; a self-refuting claim. The artistic works discussed in this collection of essays do an outstanding job of illustrating the topics considered in this book. In fact, this format of literary criticism and philosophical discussion is an excellent way to explore these topics with the guidance of two learned thinkers whose views differ respectfully.