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Arthur C. McGill

December 21, 2011

Can anyone out there point me in the direction of some critical engagement with the theology of Arthur McGill? I enjoyed Suffering: A Test of Theological Method earlier this year and have just followed it up with Death and Life: An American Theology. A quick search gave me very little. He seems to be a relative unknown and this puzzles me. I find his writing both powerful and insightful, imbued with the courage to take things to their logical conclusions even if it is quite provocative.

Anyone know anything about the reception of his thought? Perhaps it has something to do with the irony in the subtitle of Death and Life. I presume this Harvard Professor was an American, however his book is a powerful critique of functional religion in America – worship of death. I imagine such provocative claims did not endear him to many in 1970s US.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. R.O. Flyer permalink
    December 22, 2011 3:16 am

    I read Death and Life a few years back based on Halden’s recommendation. I don’t know of any critical engagement on McGill, but you may want to ask Halden about this.

  2. January 11, 2012 3:14 am

    I don’t know of any critical engagement either, but I thoroughly appreciated his Death and Life.

  3. Rosa McGill permalink
    January 21, 2012 3:17 am

    I’m afraid I can’t point you very far in the direction of critical engagement since I’ve only recently started reading my grandfather’s work, but McGill was born in Canada. He moved to the United States while seeking medical treatment, and spent most of his academic career here.

  4. January 22, 2012 11:47 pm

    Very interested in this as well. I’m finishing up “The Denial of Death” by Ernest Becker, on Richard Beck’s recommendation throughout his “The Slavery of Death” series over at his blog, and plan to begin McGill’s “Death and Life” next, also on Beck’s recurrent recommendations of him throughout the same series.

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