In 1831, Reverend Robert Taylor, formerly an ordained priest in the Church of England, was indicted for blasphemy and sentenced to serve two years in prison for challenging the rigid religious dogma of his time. His crime: daring to renounce the accepted teachings of the Church and suggest his own educated observations and interpretations about the foundations of Christianity. The Devil's Pulpit collects all of Taylor's original spirited sermons on the topic. Analyzing the roots of the Bible, Taylor explores how pagan sun worship practices, Greek and Roman mythology, ancient Egyptian society, astrology, and astronomy all serve as direct undercurrents of Christianity. With insightful prose and razor-sharp clarity, he explains how many of the New Testament stories essentially parallel-and in fact often appear to merely be reworked versions of-much-older pagan myths and astrological allegories (e.g., twelve disciples of the son of God; twelve Zodiac signs signifying sun worship, etc.). Needless to say, his intimation that Christianity is only a thinly disguised version of paganism met with some powerful religious and cultural resistance at the time. Nevertheless, his compelling interpretations, reasonings, and proofs directly influenced many of the most forward-thinking minds of his generation, including a young Charles Darwin, among others. Today, The Devil's Pulpit remains a deeply disturbing classic work of doctrinal dissidence.
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