Book review: The Divine Magician

by Peter Rollins


Are you courageous enough to subject your belief in God to psychoanalysis? I dare you to open the cover on this one.

In The Divine Magician, Rollins compares the Gospel to a magic trick in which the magician presents an item, makes it disappear, and then makes it reappear. These three steps are called the Pledge, the Turn and the Prestige.

100 years or so before Christ, Roman general Pompeius Magnus stepped behind the temple curtain in Jerusalem and was surprised to find “the sanctuary empty and the Holy of Holies untenanted.” Religion offers us a sacred object, the fulfillment of every desire, but Rollins invites us to look behind the curtain, exposing its traumatic absence. There is nothing there!

But this is not the end of the journey. We don’t need to be saved by the sacred object but from it. Being freed from religious structure, we are prepared to rebuild in a more positive way, and God reappears.

This book will make you look inward, and that’s not easy. Thankfully, it’s also a fun read.

Howard Books, © 2015, 208 pages

ISBN: 978-1-4516-0904-2

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