Thursday, 18 July 2013

knowledge of angels - jill paton walsh

'Knowledge of Angels' was recommended and loaned to me by a fellow worker, who thought l might be interested in the philosophical arguments for and against God that lay within.  They were correct, and l did enjoy the story, although l found some of Jill Paton Walsh's writing a bit too floral, even though l understand when she was rabbiting on about the plants, weather and landscape of Grandinsula, (the Island setting of the novel), it was to highlight what a medieval paradise it was, compared to the horror that was being perpetrated on it.
The story concerns a young girl who was raised by wolves, (based on The Maid of Chalons), plus the tale of  a stranger from another land who swims ashore, and declares himself an atheist when questioned about his beliefs and his land of origin.  There are then arguments aplenty between various believers, including the dreaded inquisition (who weren't expected).
The main philosophical argument centered around St Thomas Aquinas' 5 proofs of Gods Existence, and the responses to them by Palinurus (the swimming stranger), plus the argument of whether knowledge of God is inborn, as if it is proven not to be so, Palinurus cannot be a heretic.
I felt as though the sex scene had been put in to appeal to female readers, although it could be argued that it was to emphasise the strangers free loving and guilt free ways, but apart from that, an enjoyable and interesting read in yesterdays sunshine, alternating between hammock, swing, and rug on the floor.
It's a hard life, God or no God.

toodle pip

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