Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Crime of Miss Jean Brodie

So if I've got this right, the central argument of Muriel Spark's 1962 novella The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is that Calvinism is a form of fascism, and a Calvinist God is no better than a Mussolini or a Hitler, and that in a predestined universe there are no moral ramifications and so every act is above reproach, neutral and meaningless, and also since such a Calvinist God owes us nothing as individuals, we owe Him nothing and it is impossible to betray one to whom we owe nothing. I think. It turns out to be a lot more of a book than the story of a spinster school teacher and her adolescent charges in Edinburgh between the wars. I know very little about Calvinism, but Miss Spark seems to have had definite ideas. So, interesting.

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