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Hating GodThe Untold Story of Misotheism$
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Bernard Schweizer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199751389

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751389.001.0001

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Agonistic Misotheism II

Agonistic Misotheism II

Bad Fathers, Historical Crises, and Rebecca West’s Accusations Against God

(p.127) Agonistic Misotheism II
Hating God

Bernard Schweizer

Oxford University Press

This chapter reveals the misotheistic core of Rebecca West’s ethos of heroism and rebellion. It also shows how carefully West mediated her private misotheism as if dreading to admit the full implications of this view even to herself. Historically, one of the most searing indictments of God is her unpublished manuscript, written during World War I, in which West rails against God as a “master criminal.” Traces of misotheism can be found throughout her fiction and non-fiction, if one looks for them. Indeed, just like Hurston, West has not heretofore been known as an opponent of God. By connecting the dots, the author reveals a tortured spiritual journey. Indeed, West went from being a fervent misotheist in her twenties, to trying to convert to Catholicism in middle age in an attempt to stop wrestling with God; but the reconciliation failed, and she became again hostile to God toward the end of her life.

Keywords:   agonistic misotheism, World War I, World War II, Manichaeanism, Epicurus, Anarchism, Rebecca West, St. Augustine, Friedrich Nietzsche, atonement

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