The Religion of Not Believing: The Atheist’s Tragedy by Cyril Tourneur

17 Jan
atheist's tragedy

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Challenging interpretations is something I not only find amusing but also quite fascinating. Although, religion is not something that I believe should be challenged personally for myself, I find myself drawn and intrigued by this very question: Is the absence of belief a belief in of itself?

Atheism, according to Cyril Tourneur’s The Atheist’s Tragedy, is not the lack of belief but the assertion of belief in something other than God. Being an Atheist, according to The Atheist’s Tragedy, does not imply the absence of religion but rather challenges the definition of religion and an all-powerful God. The idea of an Atheist believing in a higher power is brought into question through the atheist in the play. In The Atheist’s Tragedy; Or the Honest Man’s Revenge, Tourneur suggests through the atheist D’Amville that atheism is in fact a kind of religion and that not believing in a God is a religion in of itself.

The play was highly interesting – some of the ideas seem formidable – but above all it is an educational and entertaining read. The play was first published in 1611 and is considered classic of the Jacobean era.  If you are someone who finds other’s viewpoints interesting and love a good debatable topic then this is a good book for you to read whatever your personal religious views; you can check out a digital copy from Hoopla with your library card. Of course, it’s to be taken in with an open mind.

Written by:
Sherissa Hernandez
Adult Programming Assistant

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