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Do You Believe? Conversations on God and Religion

3.06  ·  Rating details ·  88 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Some of the most well-known and well-respected cultural figures of our time enter into intimate and illuminating conversation about their personal beliefs, about belief itself, about religion, and about God.

Antonio Monda is a disarming, rigorous interviewer, asking the most difficult questions (he often begins an interview point blank: “Do you believe in God?”) that lead t
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 13th 2007 by Vintage (first published October 9th 2007)
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Bcoghill Coghill
May 25, 2014 rated it liked it
The sections are too short for me. If you have never heard of these thinkers (one or two may not actually think)this book may be for you. I've read most of their works and know that their universes are so vast that a few pages cannot even hint at what they have to say about spirituality.
Still,for what the book attempted, good job. The subject matter is just too large for a little book.
Oct 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
I thought the author missed the boat on this one: instead of asking questions that related to the interviewee's answers, he kept asking the same pointed questions instead of listening.
Aug 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-book
This is like the People Magazine of theology books.

Hey, famous person, what do YOU believe about God?

Kind of fun.

As they are famous intellectuals, they mostly have non-belief or vague belief instead of a crystallized image of what God or morality should be.

The interviewer, however, is very definitely Catholic. Even if he didn't tell you in the intro, you could probably get the idea from the way he asks his questions. When Derek Walcott says his relationship with God is "inconstant," Monda follo
May 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
A frustrating but worthwhile book. It's disappointing when one comes to understand that certain artists for whom one has great admiration as artists have arrived at their opinions on God and religion with undeniable laziness. I'm not talking about some need to have all people agree with me, but rather that their thought exhibit rigor. I'm tired, for instance, of reading atheist condemnations of religion on the grounds that evil things have sometimes been done in God's name: the latter is true, b ...more
Jun 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
So I picked up this book from my local library a few weeks ago as I was looking to explore faith and why people believe what they do. This book seemed to be exactly what I was looking for; it was a book focusing on different people's views on religion and faith! When I sat down to read it though, it wasn't what I'd hoped it would be.

First off, the book was just strings of interview questions put into chapters; it was very bland and hard to get into. The main problem I had with it though, was
Zooey Glass
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Come hanno già detto in tanti, le interviste sono troppo brevi, ma d'altro canto esiste un altro modo per affrontare una questione così complessa con personalità di tale spessore, senza limitarsi?
Restano ottimi spunti di riflessione, qualche sorpresa, tipo Franzen, mito assoluto, che mi è sembrato così disarmato(?!) dalla sua intelligenza.
Resta un dato di fatto, tra gente di cultura, la percentuale di atei/agnostici resta elevatissima, e questo non mi sembra per nulla sorprendente.
Non so se è
Caleb Liu
Dec 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
Monda interviews many of screen and book luminaries including Martin Scorcese, Derek Walcott, Saul Bellow, Paul Auster, Elie Wiesel,Salmon Rushdie and Toni Morrisson asking them specifically for their take on religion. His motivation for doing so is his belief that religion is "the most important subject of our time".

He manages to elicit quite a diverse range of views, some even mildly surprising (such as Walcott's admission that he pictures God as an old white man)even if many are expected (Bel
May 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in subject matter
Shelves: philosophy
I very much enjoyed this short book of interviews. I picked it up because the first conversation is with Paul Auster, one of my favorite authors. Because of the way Auster writes I have always been curious as to what he believes. Having a similar religous upbringing to the author, may also be why this book felt easy for me considering the topic. I imagine my reaction may have been different had the author been a devout...well, anything, I guess.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of interes
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
A weighty topic but this was sort of a lightweight approach to it, for the most part not much enlightening – I guess there’s a certain interest in seeing that the religious ideas of the people involved are about as nebulous as the religious ideas of the rest of us, but I wouldn’t recommend the book to anyone unless they were interested in the thinking of one or some of the people interviewed. If you approach it less as expecting any serious discussion and more on the level of a somewhat differen ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
One apparent thing to like about this book is Monda's selection of interviewees, among them Paul Auster, Saul Bellow, David Lynch and Michael Cunningham. At the same time, one regrets that each interview is rather short and that the questions tend to be somewhat repetitive. Rather than "Conversations on God and Religion", the book at times feels more like an opinion poll or a questionnaire. Still, if you're curious about the contemporary cultural greats' views on religion, it's a handy volume. B ...more
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
I thought it was an interesting question so I read it. What was even more interesting was how some of the people like Jana Fonda and Spike Lee answered this question. Through out the book, I think maybe 10-12 people were interviewed and I can only remember one or two people coming straight out and saying "Yes I believe in GOD" most of them answered with some savvy answer on what they believe or don't believe. Just an interesting topic that I think everyone has had to answer or question at some p ...more
Jan 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Cole gave this to me for my birthday last night. I'm looking forward to settling down with it. Looks similar to This I Believe, but on the theme of religion/spirituality.

EDIT: I finished this fairly quickly after I started it; it was a fast read. I wish that the conversations between the author and the subjects were deeper--it seemed like they had been overedited to the point that you no longer got a sense of why the people believe the way they do.
Jessie Weaver
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Monda is a filmmaker, a Catholic perplexed by the lack of religious interest in Hollywood. He conducted a series of interviews over several years with people as varied as Jane Fonda, Salman Rushdie, and Martin Scorcese. This book made me think more than anything I’ve read since college and I absolutely think every Christian should read it and maybe every nonbeliever too!
Aug 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
I think the premise of this book was great, but the interviews (or at least the recorded portions) are extremely short. So often the interviewee would say something rather vague or profound and it would end there. No follow up questions. No clarification, just some new question. Seemed like a bit of a tease.
Feb 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Was thrilled when I found this book, a collection of interviews with authors, poets, thinkers and filmmakers, on religion and God. And it is wonderful to learn their thoughts and perspectives. If only Antonio Monda had gotten over himself and gotten out of the way.
Moira A. Reilly
Jun 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
In the end, I just wasn't into it.
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2009
Saw it on the bookshelf at the library, the title jumped out to me. Most of the people in this book DON'T believe. Would have been nice to hear from more who DID Believe and WHY...
Sep 20, 2008 added it
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