Being human isn't easy. We might think that consciousness and free will give us control over our lives but our minds are unpredictable places. We are susceptible to forces we don't understand. We are capable of inflicting immense cruelty on one another and yet we also have the capacity to be tender, to empathise, to feel.
In his thought-provoking new book Richard Holloway holds a mirror up to the human condition. By drawing on a colourful and eclectic selection of writings from history, philosophy, science, poetry, theology and literature, Holloway shows us how we can stand up to the seductive power of the monster and draw closer to the fierce challenge of the saint.
* A vigorously argued tract...Richard Holloway brilliantly illuminates the divided spirit of man. -- Mary Warnock Observer 20080831 * This is an inspirational writer at the height of his powers who does not shy away from personal revelation...His message deserves to be widely heard. It stands between us and chaos. -- Bel Mooney Daily Mail 20080829 * 'Between the Monster and the Saint' is an eloquent disquisition on humankind's self-division between our finer and our baser inclinations. -- Salley Vickers Independent On Sunday 20080914 * Holloway writes with clarity and compassion, and when whatever differences of means are set aside between him and other friends of humanity, all can agree that the end he has in view - that we should look on one another with eyes of sympathy - surely commands agreement. -- AC Grayling The Times * Holloway's reflections on the problem of evil are arresting and profound. -- John Gray Literary Review * Holloway writes with passion and honesty at all times, and the result is compelling. -- Robin Baird-Smith Observer 20090712 * Sex and Violence are primal forces in nature, and in this well informed book the former Bishop of Edinburgh wants us to contemplate how these forces have used us in their own lives ... -- Ian Pindar Guardian 20090822 * This intriguing tome looks at human frailty and it suggests how we can practically live better, more empathic lives. Written, as ever, with passion and compassion. Big Issue 20090817