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June 21 , 2010

From Fear To Love: My Journey Beyond Christianity


Here at last is the third book in Harry Willson's humanist trilogy. The "enquiry" that he began at the age of 62 spilled over into two carefully crafted and reader-friendly works of philosophy, Freedom from God and Myth and Mortality. Harry's readers will delight in this retrospective of a life dedicated to discovery and frank discussion of what makes us tick.

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Harry Willson
Harry Willson was born in Montoursville, Pennsylvania. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry and math at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and a Master of Divinity in ancient Middle-Eastern language and literature at Princeton Theological Seminary. He became bilingual through one year of Spanish studies at the University of Madrid, and holds the Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera from the University of Salamanca, Spain. Later he studied Spanish, literature, philosophy, mythology, and theater arts at the University of New Mexico. He served as student pastor at the Presbyterian Church, Hamburg, New Jersey, for four years while in seminary. In 1958, Harry moved his family to New Mexico, where he served as bilingual missionary pastor in Bernalillo, Alameda, and Placitas for eight years. He served as Permanent Clerk of the Presbytery of Rio Grande, Chairman of Enlistments and Candidates, Chairman of the Commission on Race, and Moderator of the Presbytery.

In 1965, Harry answered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for clergy to go to Selma, Alabama to assist in voter registration and demonstrations against police brutality. He participated in the successful march from Selma to Montgomery on March 25, where he personally witnessed Dr. King deliver his “How Long, Not Long" speech. Not long after that, in 1966, Harry left the church "in sorrow and anger" over its failure to take a stand against the Vietnam War. He spent the summer of 1967 on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, assigned as their representative to the Atlanta Alliance for Peace.

After quitting the clergy, Harry taught for ten years, first at the Albuquerque Academy and then at Sandia Preparatory School, after which he retired from teaching to devote himself to his writing. His fiction and nonfiction attracted a diverse and enthusiastic audience. From 1996 to 2010, he wrote a monthly column for the Amador Publishers web site, totaling more than 150 essays. He was also published in a variety of local and national periodicals, and several of his one-act plays were produced. Readers frequently corresponded with Harry to let him know how they were personally touched by his writing; some claimed he had changed their lives.

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