Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Unknown God

The Unknown God by Alfred Noyes, 383 pages

"You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious.  For passing by, and seeing your idols, I found an altar on which was written: To the Unknown God.  What therefore you worship, without knowing it, that I preach to you."  So spoke St Paul on the Areopagus in the first century.  In that tradition, poet Noyes wrote this book in the early twentieth century, attempting to lead his generation to the Unknown God of today (or, at least, of 1934).

Noyes proclaims the "greater agnostics of the nineteenth century", including Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, and Herbert Spencer "unconscious prophets".  He sees their attacks on theism as criticisms of pallid deism rather than robust, orthodox Christianity -  unable to remain contentedly in the dark, they were blindly groping towards transcendence.  Noyes' call is for poetic imagination and scholastic reason to compensate for the deficiencies of empiricism.

No comments:

Post a Comment