British author and social critic Malcolm Muggeridge, who once said he “never greatly cared for the world or felt particularly at home in it,” died November 14 at age 87, three years after suffering a stroke from which he never fully recovered.

The witty, enigmatic Muggeridge spent much of his life criticizing virtually all of his society’s institutions. The church was also high on Muggeridge’s list of targets for satire, making all the more surprising his conversion to Christianity when he was approaching 70 years of age. According to Wheaton College communications professor Myrna Grant, a friend of Muggeridge’s, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Mother Teresa was “a profound influence on [Muggeridge’s] spiritual life.”

Muggeridge encountered Mother Teresa while producing a documentary on her for the British Broadcasting Corporation. He became a well-known television personality in Britain after years in a multidimensional career that included stints as a news correspondent, book reviewer, playwright, novelist, biographer, and essayist.

Said Grant, who made Muggeridge the topic of her doctoral dissertation, “His real contribution was his ability to get right to the heart of anything, to dispense immediately with all cant.”

To the joy of those who were inspired by his Christian conversion, Muggeridge was equally direct when he wrote about his faith, as illustrated by the following excerpt from The Practical Christianity of Malcolm Muggeridge (InterVarsity Press):

I may, I suppose, regard myself or pass for being a relatively successful man. People occasionally stare at me in the streets—that’s fame. I can fairly easily earn enough to qualify for admission to the higher slopes of the Internal Revenue—that’s success. Furnished with money ...

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