Book summary: Men, Women and Places


These essays were written in the first half of the twentieth century, but it's interesting how fresh and applicable to our own situation they seem. The first, for example, 'Blasphemy,' is a commentary, using some absurd spiritualistic writers of her day, on the idiocy of the awkward position taken by a secular state on insuring the equality of religions before the law.

Undset's Norway at that time actually was a religious state, but a protestant one; our present secular state is a form, a further development, of a protestant religious state, since protestantism must by its inception as a rebel be pluralistic and recognize and guard pluralism, and hence, ultimately, is no different from secularism, which also must guard pluralism by various and sundry ineffective legislative attempts. Perhaps this is why the essays, written so long ago, when the world was so different, seem pertinent today. The non-Catholic state has only continued to devolve, as the popes said it would, into savage atheism.

Back to biography of Sigrid Undset

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