Colledge, R. (2009). Horror, Ecstasy, God: In Memoriam, John Updike [accepted manuscript]. Ethics Education,15(1), 42-60. Victoria: Graduate school for research in philosophy and theology, Australian Catholic University.
This paper looks to examine the closely connected themes of God’s existence, suffering and the goodness of the world in the work of American novelist, short-story writer, essayist and poet, John Updike, who died earlier this year. The text that structures the discussion is the syllogism he sets out in his semi-autobiographical work, Self-consciousness, which captures the thematic core of so much of his thought on these themes: viz, “If God does not exist, the world is a horror show; but the world is not a horror-show; therefore, God exists”. The discussion interweaves Updike with a various other conversation partners, in particular the late cultural anthropologist, Ernest Becker, and contemporary philosopher, William Desmond.
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