Priya's Reviews > The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time by James     Baldwin
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Jun 26, 2012

it was amazing
Read in June, 2012

In The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin extensively talks about one of the crucial aspects of the human struggle- religion. By being on both the sides of the fence once as a "sinner" and then as a "savior," Baldwin has unveiled the truth that both the sides have contributed to the common effort of paving the way to the hell that we all currently reside in. In this pursuit of looking for something that would help us redeem ourselves from our horrible pasts, we have resigned to some external concept of God that will someday save all of us.
Baldwin is right when he says “we human beings now have the power to exterminate ourselves; this seems to be the entire sum of our achievement” (p. 57). From the Holocaust to the Rwandan Genocide to the War on Terror to the recent killings of the protestors in the Arab Spring, we have come a long way in mastering the skill of exterminating our humanity along with human-beings. According to certain estimates, the world is supposed to end in 2012. I guess the date has been postponed since we are a masochist society who wants to die a slow death and suffer as the vultures feed on our flesh. Consequently, we die each day just as we kill our humanity by killing our brothers and sisters. Is there any hope? Can any god or any religion save us all simultaneously? Do we really need men dying for our sins just like Jesus did? Does killing the sinners kill our sins? Can we really afford to wait for the fire next time?
If you are willing to know the answers, you will find them somewhere between the lines so wonderfully written by Baldwin that evoke emotions ranging from frustration to pure bliss.
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