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One is the beloved author of The Name of the Rose , a celebrated scholar, philosopher, and self-declared secularist; the other is a preeminent clergyman and a respected expert on the New Testament. In this intellectually stimulating dialogue, often adversarial but always amicable, these two great men, who stand on opposite sides of the church door, discuss some of the most controversial issues of our day, including the apocalypse, abortion, women in the clergy, and ethics. As we voyage onward into the new millennium, they frame a debate about matters that have already begun to rage, always aware of the gulf between belief and nonbelief that separates them, constantly probing and challenging, but also respectful of the other’s viewpoint. For believers and nonbelievers alike, the result is both edifying and illuminating. “Their correspondence,” writes Professor Harvey Cox in his introduction, “lifts the possibility of intelligent conversation on religion to a new level.”