Religious philosophy plays a pivotal role in Journey to Virginland, Armen Melikian’s debut novel, published in 2012. The first installment of a trilogy, this book treats religious philosophy as a critical prism through which the tectonic forces of history, politics, art, mythology, and sex come into sharp focus as they both inform the structure of the narrative and propel it forward.
Melikian’s take on religious philosophy, especially pertaining to the Judeo-Christian legacy and most monotheistic systems, manifests itself as a no-holds-barred denunciation of religion as a corporate enterprise, its function as a systemically sanctioned tool for cultural and political imperialism, and its inherent mechanism of societal control through codified systems of spiritual rewards and punishments.
At turns picaresque and epistolary, this book directs its spotlight on the breakneck paradigm shifts of the 21st century, navigating through the morass with the guidance of Dog, the novel’s loutish yet wise protagonist. Melikian simultaneously parses the core cultural and religious failures that make for a world out of balance and proposes an exuberant vision of human transformation. Throughout these twin projects, his ideas elucidate a host of black holes in our grasp of the roots of religion, its claims to cultural legitimacy, and its ongoing and extraordinarily dangerous primacy in world affairs.
In promulgating his ideas, Melikian employs exegesis and historical contextualization, revealing the breathtaking interplay of religion and anthropic evolution itself. As he does so, the author expounds a religious philosophy that eschews the pitfalls of religion per se to embrace a brand of faith concerned solely with the actualization of human creativity.
In his review of Journey to Virginland, Paul McCarthy, New York Times bestselling author and a professor of English at the University of Ulster, Ireland, wrote: “I am struck by the extraordinary writing, vision, and, perhaps rarest of all, originality, which abounds in every way, and at so many levels and depths of meaning, theme, narrative, etc., that I had to keep slowing my pace, until I could read and ‘inhale’ each word.”
Interested on new perspectives in religious philosophy? Get your copy of Journey to Virginland today!