G.A. Cohen was once a Marxist--or, at least, he "believed" in Marxism. When growing up in a working-class Jewish neighborhood in Montreal with a strong Communist Party presence, he was a fellow traveller. Later in life, he became an Oxford-trained analytic philosopher and took to translating Karl Marx's rich, dense writing into logical syllogisms and neat little diagrams.

Now, in the same detached manner, Cohen has adopted Christianity. Despite his Jewish background and strongly felt Jewish identity, Cohen says he finds himself drawn more and more to the Christian view of equality, a belief that "a change in social ethos . is necessary for producing equality." Christianity, he argues, offers a more powerful critique of capitalist society, and a better way of changing that society, than either radical or liberal political solutions. Yet as with his earlier work on Marx, Cohen seems to "believe" in Christianity without actually being a Christian; this makes this latest book seem as sterile and pointless as his earlier work, a dull exercise in analytic philosophy instead of a book with moral weight.

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