This is actually a reread but I never listed it among the read because I think I gave it short shrift the first time around. It was one of the earlier books I read when I was still too enamoured with Heinlein and Asimov to give much serious thought to it.I had to check the cover once in awhile to remind me who authored this book because it kept reading like a PKD work. I have to wonder if they didn't influence each other. Their humour is so similar but not their take on a higher power. This reeks of Catholic dogma. Especially a scene near the end of the book.We are doomed to keep repeating history and religion or a belief in God obviously doesn't change that. The monks continue to believe that what they do will change things and in the end it changes nothing. Man keeps up his cycle of self destruction for endless millennia. That the church survives the entire time was no surprise to me.I think I gleaned a lot more with this reading and even like and understand the book a lot more but it won't go on my favourite shelf in any millennium. For it's time it would have been a powerful book but I think a lot of authors have been lecturing us about our suicidal tendencies without having to use religion for good or evil.