Christopher Hitchens

God Is Not Great

God is Not Great is one of the final books that was written by Christopher Hitchens and was published in 2007. This novel focused on everything to do with religion. There are a total of nineteen chapters in the book, all consisting of different facets of his views and criticisms on religion. These chapters and the ideas he expresses within the novel cover everything from the beginning's of religion to whether or not religion is child abuse.

The central religions that Hitchens discusses throughout the book involve the three Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Despite this focus, there is still some text about Buddhism and Hinduism, though even in this text, Hitchens is far less critical of these religions. Chapter two, titled "Religion Kills", talks about the dangers of organized religion. It's in this chapter that Hitchens discusses in length about the Sept. 11 attacks and how religion was involved with them, as well as the Fatwa, or death sentence, that was placed on the novelist and friend of Hitchens, Salman Rushdie, for what was contained within his novel The Satanic Verses.

Chapter 15 is an especially interesting chapter, with its contents revolving around religion as an original sin. Within this chapter, Hitchens points out five portions of religion that are immoral. This includes the imposition of impossible tasks and rules, the doctrine of atonement, which involves harming innocent people in an attempt to atone for sin, the doctrine of blood sacrifice in order to please gods, the doctrine of eternal punishment or eternal reward and the presentation of a false picture of the world to the credulous.

Like many novels by Hitchens, God is Not Great was received with praise by many critics and scorn by others due to what they perceived as controversial views. One critic, Bruce DeSilva praised the novel as having "elegant yet biting prose".