Michael Palin in Bath on Tuesday 11th December

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John Gray in Bath

Monday 28th February 2011

  • Venue The Bookshop, The Paragon, Bath, BA1 5LS
  • Doors open 7.45pm
  • Start time 8pm
Image of John Gray

For most of human history, religion provided a clear explanation of life and death. But in the late 19th and early 20th centuries new ideas — from psychiatry to evolution to Communism — seemed to suggest that our fate was now in our own hands. We would ourselves become God.

This is the theme of a remarkable new book by one of the world’s greatest living philosophers. It is a brilliant and frightening look at the problems and opportunities of a world coming to grips with humankind’s now solitary, unaided place in the universe. Gray takes two major examples: the belief that the science-backed Communism of the new USSR could reshape the planet, and the belief among a group of Edwardian intellectuals — popularized through mediums and automatic writing — that there was a non-religious form of life after death.