Monday, November 28, 2005
Can't Believe Their Eyes
Writing in The Guardian Unlimited, Martin Kettle, challenges any British visitor to go into a good American bookshop and not be amazed at the scale and subject matter of the religious books on display.
A few blocks from the Darwin exhibition, [at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, RSR] there is a Barnes & Noble bookshop where there are shelves and shelves of the stuff - Bibles in profusion, yards of Judaica, vast tomes about Mormonism, apparently serious volumes about Oprah Winfrey's spiritual significance in modern America. Particularly fascinating is the Religious Fiction section. Believe me, we're not talking CS Lewis here. Check out the biggest shelf presence of the lot, the Left Behind series of novels by "prophecy scholar" Tim LaHaye with Jerry B Jenkins - 60m volumes sold so far - and you will get an inkling of the intensity of the apocalyptic "holy living in an unholy age" crusade against science in modern America.