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36 arguments for the existence of God : a work of fiction
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
Adult Fiction GOLDSTE

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Summary: Equally adept at fiction (a winner of the National Jewish Book Award) and philosophy (a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation genius prize), Rebecca Newberger Goldstein now gives us a novel that transforms the great debate between faith and reason into an exhilarating romance of both heart and mind. At the center: Cass Seltzer, a professor of psychology whose book, The Varieties of Religious Illusion, has become a surprise best seller. He's been dubbed the atheist with a soul, and his sudden celebrity has upended his life. He wins over the stunning Lucinda Mandelbaum-the goddess of game theory-and loses himself in a spiritually expansive infatuation. A former girlfriend appears: an anthropologist who invites him to join in her quest for immortality through biochemistry. But he is haunted by reminders of the two people who ignited his passion to understand religion: his teacher Jonas Elijah Klapper, a renowned literary scholar with a suspicious obsession with messianism, and an angelic six-year-old mathematical genius, heir to the leadership of an exotic Hasidic sect. The rush of events in a single dramatic week plays out Cass's conviction that the religious impulse spills out into life at large. In 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein explores the rapture and torments of religious experience in all its variety. Hilarious, heartbreaking, and intellectually captivating, it is a luminous and intoxicating novel.


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main characters Cass Seltzer
Male
University professor specializing in "the psychology of religion;" his book becomes a best seller; wins over Lucinda Mandelbaum; loses himself in a spiritually expansive infatuation; former girlfriend appears; invites him to join in her quest; immortality through biochemistry; haunted by reminders of his mentor; and an angelic six-year-old mathematical genius.
Professor

Lucinda Mandelbaum
Female
Called, "the goddess of game theory;".

Roz Margolis
Female
Former girlfriend of Cass; dedicated herself to unlocking the secrets of immortality.



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