The Book of the People: How to Read the Bible
Atlantic (Allen & Unwin) $39.99 hb, 256 pp, 9781848879591
According to A.N. Wilson, the Bible is badly misread by those fundamentalists, whether believers or atheists, who choose to read it in a literal-minded way rather than as the supreme work of the imagination. For Wilson, the Bible is an inexhaustible source of poetic and moral stimulus, not an instruction manual containing strictures of uncertain historical provenance that make no sense to modern minds. The greatest readers of the Bible in our time, Wilson argues, are those like Martin Luther King Jr, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Desmond Tutu, who each drew strength from the essential allegory of love and endurance in achieving good in the world rather than being distracted by the sort of details that give rise to disputes between Christians and atheists, and among believers themselves.