Twain is one of America’s most popular, renowned, and influential authors. He grappled with major theological concepts and issues and strove incessantly to find meaning in life. Twain extensively analyzed and criticized the biblical God, Christ, the Bible, and Christianity. His constantly changing views of these matters have led scholars to identify Twain as an agnostic, an atheist, a secularist, and a theologically liberal Christian. Twain functioned as a preacher, prophet, and social philosopher. He used his penetrating pen and the lecture platform to proclaim his understanding of the truth, attack a wide variety of social injustices, and present his views on numerous philosophical issues. Twain’s influence on American society extended well beyond providing entertaining, humorous novels, short stories, and essays as he addressed such major questions as is there a God, what is the nature of human beings, what is the purpose of life, and is there an afterlife.
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