What was the Religion of Shakespeare?


M. M. Mangasarian

Force Majeure Press

What was the Religion of Shakespeare? - Bookrepublic

What was the Religion of Shakespeare?


M. M. Mangasarian

Force Majeure Press


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It is by observing the frequency and emphasis with which certain views and expressions occur and reoccur in an author, and the consistency with which they are given the preference, that we may be able to generalize as to his philosophy or religion. As Shakespeare's works are neither a treatise on theology nor a manual of philosophy, our only means of discovering his attitude toward the problems of life and destiny is by reading, as it were, between the lines. A great mind can neither sophisticate nor suppress its earnest convictions. This does not mean that anyone with earnest convictions must necessarily be a propagandist. To think and to let think, represents a state of mind which is entirely consistent, both with enthusiasm and toleration, if not with proselytism. We believe that Shakespeare has unmistakably expressed himself on the subject of religion, as he has on that of patriotism, for instance, but without any missionary zeal, which fact has led not a few students of his works to the conclusion that of all the great poets Shakespeare is the only one without a religion.
During his life Mangasarian wrote a number of books. His most popular, including The Truth About Jesus — Is He a Myth? (1909) andThe Bible Unveiled (1911), deal with the evidence against the existence of an historical Jesus. He also wrote hundreds of essays and lectures on questions of the times. His books and essays were translated into French, German, Spanish, and other foreign languages. The general subject of his writing was religious criticism and the philosophy of religion.


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