36 Arguments

From Jan ’10 Spotlight: Rebecca Goldstein is about to release a new novel called 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, and she’ll be at Spertus Institute on Thurs, Jan 21 to read excerpts and sign copies. 36 Arguments is set in Boston, and the protagonist, Cass Seltzer, teaches at a college very much like Brandeis (where Rebecca herself once taught). Long used to working in relative isolation, when Cass publishes a new book called The Varieties of Religious Illusion, his popularity soars.

In addition to her own significant accomplishments, Rebecca is also Mrs. Steven Pinker, so when she describes what happens to an academic after he’s been called up to The Colbert Report, she speaks from experience. Funny as references to “the Colbert bump” are, however, this is a serious book with erudite concerns, and there’s a clear thread linking it to Rebecca’s ongoing philosophical investigations.

In Nov ‘08, Rebecca was here as a guest of the Chicago Humanities Festival, and when I asked her then about reactions to her book Betraying Spinoza, she said: “We’re reliving the Age of the Enlightenment. Separating religion and politics? I thought we had actually settled that once and for all, but America has always been a very religious country.”

To make reservations for Jan 21, visit: www.spertus.edu.  Click HERE to read more of our chat about Betraying Spinoza.

Photo Credit: Rich Miller (1/21/10)

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