The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice by Christopher Hitchens: Book Review

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“It is past time that she [Mother Teresa] was subjected to the rational critique that she has evaded so arrogantly and for so long.”

This final statement made in the Afterword of this sharp whip-crack of a book is the reason for both its existence, and the reading of its content. So often, whether we like it or not, we are taken for a ride, as it were, by the media – it is Twitter now more than at the publication of this book – so the importance of exposing ourselves to contrary views and analysis is necessary if we are not to follow the herd as sheep but as truly individual onlookers.

Hitchens tears back the curtain and reveals a wealth of hypocrisy on the part of not just Mother Teresa, but her admirers and donors too. It is important, I think, to see this side of history, even now, because there is little that has changed when it comes to the Church inserting itself into the lives of both ordinary people and political establishments.

This is a book that inspires skepticism – something we need more of in our present climate. I would encourage you to read it, if only to spark a part of you that rejects unfounded claims and questions all that you hear from those who rely on our ignorance in order to succeed.


Goodreads Blurb:

Among his many books, perhaps none have sparked more outrage than The Missionary Position, Christopher Hitchens’s meticulous study of the life and deeds of Mother Teresa.

A Nobel Peace Prize recipient beatified by the Catholic Church in 2003, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was celebrated by heads of state and adored by millions for her work on behalf of the poor. In his measured critique, Hitchens asks only that Mother Teresa’s reputation be judged by her actions-not the other way around.

With characteristic elan and rhetorical dexterity, Hitchens eviscerates the fawning cult of Teresa, recasting the Albanian missionary as a spurious, despotic, and megalomaniacal operative of the wealthy who long opposed measures to end poverty, and fraternized, for financial gain, with tyrants and white-collar criminals throughout the world.


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