Accessible and absorbing, the essays in Is God Happy? deal with some of Leszek Kolakowski has also written on religion, Spinoza, Bergson. When a well-known and respected author with a number of literary and scholarly accomplishments to his credit passes away, it is expected that. Religion, God and the problem of evil — pt. 3. Modernity, truth, the past and some Is God Happy?: Selected Essays. Leszek Kołakowski. Basic Books ().

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Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Is God Happy? Accessible and absorbing, the ess ‘The most esteemed philosopher to have produced molakowski general introduction to his discipline since Bertrand Russell’ Independent In these essays, one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century writes about communism and socialism, the problem of evil, Erasmus and the reform of the Church, reason and truth, and whether God is happy.

Accessible and absorbing, the essays in Is God Happy? Leszek Kolakowski has also written on religion, Spinoza, Bergson, Pascal and seventeenth-century thought.

He left communist Poland after his expulsion from Warsaw University for anti-communist activities. From he was a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. PaperbackPenguin Modern Classicspages.

Is God Happy? by Leszek Kolakowski – Penguin Books Australia

Published November 1st by Penguin Books Ltd first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please leszke up. To hqppy other readers questions about Is God Happy? Selected Essaysplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Is God Happy?

Lists with This Book. Dec 07, Khashayar Mohammadi rated it it was amazing Shelves: Best criticism of Socialism I have ever read. I dock a star not for the essays themselves, but for the choice, most particularly the choice to have pages of cold-war style damn-them-commies pieces at the start of the book.

Now, I’m no friend of Soviet Eastern Europe, and I’m id K spoke out against it, and that he did so far more intelligently than many other commentators. His short piece “What is Socialism?

But that was by far the least interesting part of the book. By far the best I dock a star not for the essays themselves, but for the choice, most particularly the choice to have pages of cold-war style damn-them-commies pieces at the gkd of the book. By far the best is the middle section on religious themes, including the hapyp essay.

The third section, mostly how-we-live-now philosophical reflections, is solid, but some of the pieces seem a little too pat; the most obvious example being his piece on natural law, which says the concept is a useful one for limiting positive law, makes a good case that natural law has been abused in the past my natural law favors me; yours favors you; can they both be natural?

Hzppy, natural law wasn’t natural in the middle ages? Or was it iss else? But K’s essays are always worth reading, because he’s one of the few actually dialectical thinkers who can write for a broad audience.

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Dec 04, Nathan “N. Title essay in NYRB: A collection of really absorbing, challenging and provocative essays – the author has balls ,eszek says what he means without pussy-footing or prevarication Kolakowski is good at hunting down the magic thinking and the blind spots that characterize most lazy ideologues and, having read the essays with growing unease and discomfort, I found my own “positions” exposed on plenty of occasion A collection of really absorbing, challenging and provocative essays – the author has balls and says what he means without pussy-footing or prevarication Kolakowski is good at hunting down the magic thinking and the blind spots that characterize most lazy ideologues and, having read the essays with growing unease ks discomfort, I found my own “positions” exposed on plenty of occasions.

It’s difficult to establish exactly what Kolakowski would endorse as reputable philosophizing or politicizing, as just about every big name gets a bit of a kicking somewhere, but given the stakes Meaning, Truth, Godpossibly kolakowskl isn’t surprising. There are some beautiful ideas in this book. I like this author’s heart.

The title essay was beautiful. Apr 11, Jonathan rated it really liked it. Some of the essays in this book are quite good. I have long had an interest in Kolakowski’s work, developed mostly second-hand.

This volume offers 27 essays 10 translated into English from the Polish for the first time divided into three sections: Still, LK certainly maintains a spiritual bent throughout this collection, sustaining a battle with what he calls “scientism” and secularization. In the third section, “The Demise of Historical Man” presents a pertinent contemporaneous argument: This commonplace is hardly controversial” p We might be able to recognize a symptom of this robbery in the contemporary US in which major administration officials manifest a belief in a global survival of the fittest without attending to historical outcomes.

And still another striking observation [and all of this published in ! If anything, we seem, rather, to be witnessing a new longing for the old historicity. In defiance of all rational expectations, the need to establish one’s identity through tribal membership, to define oneself through the values of a national culture, is not fading; it is getting stronger.

Is God Happy?: Selected Essays

And we know the dangers to which this quite understandable need gives rise when it degenerates into militant chauvinism.

Oct 24, Alan Alves jolakowski it really liked it Shelves: This is a book that every person who feels so sure about things in life supposed to read. People who likes to standing flags, exalt idols and protect things that they have no deep knowledge.

This is a book who brings trues, they are hard sometimes but they are necessary. This is a book for destroy your sand castle. Very polish, straight and honest. That’s how much is reprinted from that previous collection. The remainder consists of lesezk short essays, ten of which are newly translated into English.

Of those eleven, none are particularly interesting. The two with the most interesting titles, “In Praise of Unpunctuality” and “In Praise of Snobbery,” are disappointingly bland. Mar 15, Rom Byczkiewicz rated it it was amazing. An exceptional collection of essays from a deeply provocative and intriguing philosopher. This collection covers several topics important to the author’s life ranging from socialism, history, and theology to light and amusing moments.

Kolakowski offers his insights into the foibles and struggles of the human condition. Included are essays composed early in his life along with later ones that give the reader insight into the subtle changes in thought and direction in Kolakowski’s life. Also enjoy An exceptional collection of essays from a deeply provocative and gkd philosopher. Also enjoyable is Kolakowski’s rejoinder to E.

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Thompson’s open letter from that humanely shreds Thompson’s preconceptions. May 24, Ben Thurley rated it really liked it.

Selected Essays is an engaging collection of essays on philosophy, history, politics, theology and culture which are organised under three broad themes: Kolakowski is a clear-eyed observer of modernity and post-modernity, and had first-hand experience of the socialist systems he writes about, having been banned from Is God Happy?

Kolakowski is a clear-eyed observer of modernity and post-modernity, and had first-hand experience of the socialist systems he writes about, having been banned from teaching or publishing because of the politically provocative nature of his writing in his native Poland. All of the essays offers something of interest, his reflections on religion are interesting and insightful, though occasionally marred by a terminological or historical slip.

He is both sceptical of claims to certainty and the absolutising of certain forms of knowledge, but uncompromising in rejecting a strong relativism and defending both the idea of truth and the importance of the sacred dimension in human existence. There is an unavoidable and tragic contradiction, then, at the heart of human experience in that we cannot live without Truth. But neither can we find it. Dec 31, El Aguila rated it it was amazing.

One of the most intriguing books I have read in many years. This book is a series of essays that contemplates humanity’s relationship with its quest to understand itself within various contexts such as socialism, monotheism, historiographical debates, and the utility of ideas. His personal history is as intriguing as his scholarship.

His criticism of Stalinism led to his firing from Warsaw University and his work being banned in Poland. Mar 20, Arash Farzaneh rated it really liked it.

There are moments of sheer brilliance in this compilation of essays. However, at the same time there is repetition and a strong bias at work. It does not diminish the enjoyment of this book but makes it at times one-sided in its views.

IS GOD HAPPY? by Leszek Kolakowski | Kirkus Reviews

Yet I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy thinking about politics, life and religion, and especially anyone who likes philosophy. Great read for anyone who has been afloat aboard ships of shallow thought amid work routine for too long. Perfect way back in to real mindfulness. Apr 10, Liam Brown rated it really liked it. Probably Europe’s last great philosopher and critic kolakowki the Soviet Union. View all 3 comments. Mellollicious rated it really liked it Nov 28, Borys rated it really liked it Dec 01, Benino lesszek it it was amazing Jan 11, Marysia rated it really liked it Oct 27, Teafortao rated it really liked it Jul 04,