provocative post title, huh? well, it’s just a book title…
god is dead, fiction by ron currie, jr.
this book caught my eye on a recent trip to borders; and, after reading the back cover copy, i decided to pick it up. it’s a quick read, and really intriguing. it’s a collection of short stories, built around a common fictional thread. the stories aren’t interconnected like the movies crash or babel, but are, rather, a series of isolated snapshots spinning out of the implications of the first story.
that first story is that god has temporarily incarnated in the body of a dinka woman in africa, and during a rebel raid, is killed. theological inacuracy aside, the fictional ruminations of a world without god (or, as the a-theistic author would likely say, a world that learns god is dead and ceases all belief in god) are fascinating. it’s not a john lennon “imagine there’s no heaven” pretty picture — it’s a bloomin’ mess! ferel dogs eat a small bit of the woman’s body, and begin speaking in aramaic, and — pretty soon — the word is out.
it’s an extremely imaginative collection of implications, with large portions of the macro narrative told through implication and color commentary. for instance, one of the stories is the first-person narrative of a guy who works for the government agency that exists to get parents to stop worshipping their children by weekly sessions to strong-arm parents into seeing the averageness of their children. but the contextual bits let us in on the reality that, in the wake of any reason for church, and with nothing else to worship, parents around the world begin worshipping their own children.
the stories have a chronology to them, only in that each subsequent story takes place further in time from the death of god. i didn’t enjoy the last one or two chapters as much as the first 4/5 of the book, as the story thread seemed to unwind a bit. and, of course, none of this lines up with anything that would remotely be considered biblical theology. but it’s fiction – and it’s an interesting exploration of a world without god (or, at least, without belief in god). as a christian reading the book, i found myself, of course, thinking the implications would be even more dramatic. but, still, the theologically impossible core concept was interesting to explore.