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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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Absolute Misotheism II

Absolute Misotheism II

Perverse Worshippers, Divine Avatars, and Peter Shaffer’s Attacks Against God

Chapter:
(p.173) Absolute Misotheism II
Source:
Hating God
Author(s):

Bernard Schweizer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751389.003.0006

The case of Peter Shaffer is unique in this study because he is the only one among all the major figures of misotheism who gives an unflattering portrait of God-haters. Contrasting sharply with the humanistic dignity of West’s and Wiesel’s crusaders against God, Shaffer portrays misotheists as selfish and cranky: Salieri in Amadeus seeks revenge against God because of Mozart’s greater talents, Alan Strang in Equus first worships the horse god but then feels threatened and lashes out against his idol; and Pizarro in The Royal Hunt of the Sun wants to absorb the powers of a living god into himself by killing the sun god. In all three cases, Shaffer exposes worship itself as having an inherent tendency to turn into hatred of God and leading to deicide. This view bears out Sigmund Freud’s thesis about man’s relationship to God as being analogous to the Oedipal rivalry with the father.

Keywords:   absolute misotheism, deicide, worship, Sigmund Freud, Peter Shaffer, Book of Revelations, Christ, Yahweh, pagan, Dionysus

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