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The New Atheists - The Twilight of Reason and the War on Religion

The New Atheists - The Twilight of Reason and the War on Religion
  • #: 157378
  • Price: $7.99 In Apple Store
  • Category: Books
  • Updated: 2010-06-30
  • Current Version: 1
  • 1
  • Size: 1.50 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Andrews UK Limited
  • Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
  • Copyright ©2010 Andrews UK Ltd under license from Darton Longman and Todd Publishers
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Description

Forty years ago, there was a widespread belief that religion was a spent force in the Western democracies, having been confined to the private sphere and destined to be eliminated altogether by the forces of science, reason and secularism. However, in the last three decades religion has been catapulted back into public consciousness, not least by acts of violence, extremism and various forms of fundamentalism. This has generated considerable public debate about the potentially harmful effects of religious faith. Is it irrational to believe in God? Is religion simply so much mumbo-jumbo? Does religion justify violence? Does it turn good people into fanatics and extremists?

One reaction to the growing influence of religion has been the emergence of an anti-religious movement known as the ‘new atheism’, sometimes also known as ‘militant atheism’. The new atheism is spearheaded by the popular science writer Richard Dawkins, whose book The God Delusion went straight to the top of the bestseller lists in Britain and America when it was published in 2006. Christopher Hitchens’ book, God Is Not Great, has achieved similar levels of success since its publication in 2007, and other books promoting atheism by Sam Harris and Daniel C. Dennett have also enjoyed considerable popularity. A number of religious writers, mainly Christian theologians and scientists, have published books defending the compatibility between faith and the demands of science and reason. The theologian Alister McGrath and the Director of the Human Genome Project, Francis Collins, have both written about how they converted from atheism to Christianity as a result of their involvement in science.

My main aim in this book is not to defend religion against the new atheists, nor is it to deny the problem of religious extremism and its growing political influence. If this book says relatively little about the dangers of certain forms of religion, it is because I think the recent atheist bestsellers have identified these very well, and there is no need for me to repeat their arguments here. But to suggest that religion can be universally defined and condemned by referring to various forms of extremism which have flourished in late modernity is to give a distorted and reductive account of a much more complex and diverse human phenomenon. Those who have sought to present a more positive view of religion so far have tended to come from a fairly conservative Christian perspective. As a result, the debate is too narrowly focused on questions of rationality and belief, and it fails to take account of the many different challenges posed to both Western secularism and religious traditions by those whose voices are excluded from the conversation. I seek to broaden the discussion by situating it in a wider social and historical context.

This special enhanced iPad version contains the following features:

• Choice of text size

• Chapter selection

• Remembers last viewed chapter

• Optimised for iPad

If you would like to see your publication on iPad and iPhone then please contact us via www.andrewsuk.com

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The information may be outdated (2011-04-18 12:00:36). For actual information go to iTunes

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