Religion: A Life on the Brink

Nothing that James Pike touched seemed quite the same thereafter. People, ideas, institutions: none of them was immune to the intensity of his presence. All his life he pushed himself at such a headlong pace into anything new—a new project, a new theory, a new friendship—that he often seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. His role was to sting minds, being provocative rather than profound. His life was one of dazzling transitions that sometimes made him seem unstable—from attorney to churchman, from Catholic to Protestant, from bishop to dropout. Recently he had turned spiritualist. His last...

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