In God Mocks, Terry Lindvall ventures into the muddy and dangerous realm of religious satire, chronicling its evolution from the biblical wit and humor of the Hebrew prophets through the Roman Era and the Middle Ages all the way up to the present. He takes the reader on a journey through the work of Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales, Cervantes, Jonathan Swift, and Mark Twain, and ending with the mediated entertainment of modern wags like Stephen Colbert.
"This is a godsend for those interested in the role of humor in Christianity. It is remarkably comprehensive and detailed without being pedantic. Lindvall’s writing sparkles with the same wit he is chronicling, making this book a delight to read."
—John Morreall, author of Comedy, Tragedy, and Religion
"Terry Lindvall’s lively and witty prose is perfect for God Mocks, an engaging and fascinating history of the unexpectedly comical ways that prophets and preachers, artists and writers have exposed the sins and foibles of the saints across the ages. This broad and creative study cleverly probes the lighter side of human depravity to reveal how much satirical discourse has always been vital to the redemptive (and oft times entertaining) task of prophetic consciousness raising. A delightful, thoroughly researched, and perceptive contribution to understanding religious communication."
—William D. Romanowski, author of Reforming Hollywood: How American Protestants Fought for Freedom at the Movies
“I read Lindvall’s book with great appreciation and learned a lot. It contained so much more than I expected, a virtual history of religious mockery, which no one has attempted before. It is a significant contribution to religious and cultural studies. Beside that, it is a just plain good read."
—Harvey Cox, Hollis Research Professor of Divinity, Harvard University
"This is an excellent overview and introduction to numerous authors of religious satire...will appeal to readers of literary criticism and church history buffs seeking a unique perspective."
"God Mocks leads readers through the comic savagery that believers have perfected over the centuries...Lindvall's book unfurls a delightfully variegated tapestry."
"Lindvall provides a comedic...analysis of the role of satire in religious life across the ages. Lindvall makes the case that satire has been part of religious observances from the outset."
"God Mocks should be required reading for all ministers and religious bloggers that regularly speak or write with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other."
“God Mocks is a catalogue of hundreds of years of religious satire, parody, caricature, commentary, and mockery – and most importantly, the difference between each and why some are more effective than others – all intended to comment on the influence and practices of various religion orders and organizations over the centuries.”
—San Francisco Book Review
"Terry Lindvall, a stand-up comedian cleverly disguised as an academic, makes the difficult art of humor look easy with God Mocks."
"From Balaam's ass to Erasmus to Kierkegaard to The Onion, Lindvall finds redemption in satire's impulse to make us better human beings."
—The Christian Century
“Lindvall’s prose is elegant, and he is a fine guide on this rollicking, significant tour de force that belongs in all academic literature.”
—Catholic Library World
“I can think of no author better suited to write this book than Lindvall, who is as funny as he is insightful as he leads his readers through this raucous history. More than ever, we need wise, insightful satirists and ministers and writers who aren’t afraid to not take themselves so seriously, and God Mocks provides them with a fount of inspiration.”
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