Black Mass: How Religion Led The World Into Crisis by John Gray

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By John Gray

Attention-grabbing, enlightening, and epic in scope, Black Mass seems to be on the ancient and smooth faces of Utopian ideology: Society’s Holy Grail, yet at what price?

During the final century international politics used to be formed through Utopian initiatives. Pursuing a dream of an international with no evil, robust states waged battle and practised terror on an extraordinary scale. From Germany to Russia to China to Afghanistan, whole societies have been destroyed.

Utopian ideologies rejected conventional faiths and claimed to be established in technology. They have been truly secular types of the parable of Apocalypse–the trust in a world-changing occasion that brings background, with all its conflicts, to an finish. The warfare in Iraq used to be the final of those makes an attempt at making a secular Utopia, promising a brand new period of democracy and generating blood-soaked anarchy and an rising theocracy instead.

John Gray’s robust and scary new e-book argues that the loss of life of Utopia doesn't suggest peace. as an alternative it portends the resurgence of old myths, now in overtly fundamentalist varieties. Obscurely combined with geo-political struggles for the regulate of ordinary assets, apocalyptic faith has again as an incredible strength in international conflict.

From the Hardcover edition.

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The central role of eschatology in the teaching of Jesus reflects the influence of other traditions. 7 The term ‘Christian’ that came to be applied to Jesus’ followers comes from the Greek word christos, or ‘the anointed one’, which is also the meaning of ‘messiah’ in Hebrew and Aramaic. The term ‘messiah’ is rarely found in the Hebrew Bible and when it appears it is a title given to the king or a high priest. With the development of Christianity as a universal religion from the time of Paul onwards, ‘the messiah’ came to mean a divine figure sent by God to redeem all of humanity.

In The Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels declared that communism was ‘the riddle of history solved’, but they were in no doubt that the solution would be reached only after much blood had been shed. Terror has been a feature not only of the Soviet and Maoist regimes but also of more recent communist movements such as the Shining Path in Peru,16 which killed tens of thousands of people in pursuit of a world better than any that has ever existed. This vision animated every twentieth-century communist movement, and sustaining it led inescapably to repression.

In the first two or three centuries after the death of Jesus there was a Gnostic current within Christianity, distinguished from others by its assertion that only those who shared in the secret teachings passed on by Jesus could be saved. The term Gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means ‘knowledge’, and in the turbulent world of early Christianity, when nearly every aspect of Christian belief was intensely contested, Gnostics embodied the belief that salvation comes to those – perhaps only a few – who possess a type of esoteric spiritual insight and consists not in physical immortality in this world but in liberation from the human body and the material world.

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