Chapter

Agonistic Misotheism I

Bernard Schweizer

in Hating God

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199751389
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894864 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751389.003.0003
Agonistic Misotheism I

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Contrasting Swinburne’s carefree misotheistic candor, Zora Neal Hurston remained cryptic about her conflicted relationship with God. Partly because she was black and female, readers tend to overlook indications of misotheism, even when they seem plain. Few, if any, critics have taken the words “all gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason” in Their Eyes Were Watching God as potentially targeting Yahweh as well as any other gods. Instead, critics have either ignored such passages in her work or tried to explain them away. This chapter offers fresh readings of Hurston’s acclaimed works, and it draws on private writings, letters, and memoirs to fill in the picture of Hurston’s latent misotheism. Finally, the author reveals a surprising web of concealed references to writers ranging from Epicurus to Proudhon and Nietzsche, to bolster his claim that Hurston was indeed as hostile to God as the thinkers who influenced her.

Keywords: agonistic misotheism; Their Eyes Were Watching God; Jonah’s Gourd Vine; Moses Man of the Mountain; Dust Tracks on the Road; Nietzsche; Epicurus; Anarchism; Deism; Zora Neal Hurston

Chapter.  9891 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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