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February 2011
Why God Won't Go Away

Engaging with the New Atheism
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The recent rise of the New Atheism has aroused great general interest, thrown up questions of fundamental importance, and started a fascinating conversation. Why God Won’t Go Away invites us to join in.

The volume opens with a survey of the main ideas of the New Atheism, as expressed in the works of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. We then examine the core views of the movement closely, making due reference to its ‘virtual community’ of websites and blogs. Subjects explored include:

  • whether religion is delusional and evil
  • the belief that human beings are fundamentally good
  • whether we should have faith only in what can be proved through reason and science
  • the idea that the best hope for humanity is a ‘New Enlightenment’

The result is a lively and highly thought-provoking volume that poses a number of interesting questions.

Why is religion experiencing a resurgence in the twenty-first century, when we are meant to have grown out of such a primitive fixation?

Has the New Atheism’s fascination with rationality led to a fatal underestimation of the longing of the human heart to adore?

And if, as Christopher Hitchens writes in exasperation, religion is ‘ineradicable’, doesn’t this tiresome fact suggest that dismissing belief in God as irrational and unscientific might just be a waste of time?

It is fair to say that the architects of the New Atheism, Dawkins, Hitchens and others may have underestimated their pursuer, because this book is the final rapier blow to their nasty and ungracious fad. Why God Won’t Go Away simply demolishes New Atheism in all departments and in every respect. It shows it up for its juvenile sloganeering, partial truths and hateful rhetoric.Steve Morris, The Church of England Newspaper

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