Afterlife of an Atheist
This essay was a response to John Rodden’s book, Scenes from Afterlife , which showed how Orwell has been perilously exposed to numerous and varied posthumous conversions and indeed canonizations, or indeed equally to anathematizations. Overall, Rodden has a fact-based rather than faith-based approach to Orwell’s legacy, preferring to let him speak for himself rather than have canonizers and devil’s advocates, secular and spiritual, have their way with him. But this chapter also explains the antipathy to the Roman Catholic Church traditionally felt by many in Britain and particularly among socialists in the face of the Church’s positions in Italy and Spain and indeed in domestic politics. It also considers how Orwell, ahead of his time on the left, considered Zionism a branch of imperialism, not necessarily representing Jews.