What is responsible for the rise of atheism in history? According to Nick Spencer the answer lies in politics, not science. And it’s politics, he thinks, that explains why only 2% of American report being atheists, and why those atheists continue to be regarded more negatively than religious believers.
Spencer’s general argument rests on [...]
Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation edited by John Fea, Jay Green, and Eric Miller. Notre Dame, 2010, 384pp.
How do we recognize the hand of providence? All historians have to confront this question in some form. Considered in literary terms providence is a trope, [...]
Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age by Robert Bellah. Harvard, 2011, 784pp.
Has triumphalism been defeated? That’s a purposefully ambiguous and potentially self-contradictory question. It may be safe to say that it has been seriously challenged, but you don’t have to listen to the news very long before you [...]
Since Sources of the Self Charles Taylor has contended that ours is a fractured world. The world in question is that of the North Atlantic, including Europe and North America. The world in question is also a worldview in that Taylor has examined what he takes to be the trajectory of the moral and mental [...]
Sometimes William James writes things that can still ring true. Consider a quote from the The Varieties of Religious Experience: “This inferiority of the rationalistic level in founding belief is just as manifest when rationalism argues for religion as when it argues against it.” I say “ring true” because James attempts to describe the varieties [...]
Mere Apologetics by Alister McGrath. Baker, 2012, 208pp.
Christian Apologetics as Cross-Cultural Dialogue by Benno van den Toren. T&T Clark, 2012, 288pp.
What is the best way of defending the Christian religion today? And do we really need yet another apologia in the form of an intellectual argument? Both Alister McGrath and [...]
Consider the brief “history” of atheism as outlined in a recent post by a member of an atheist group in Tucson, Arizona. Here history is construed as the presentation of facts across time; to tell the history of atheism quickly all that is required are the names, dates, and arguments of various figures presented [...]
One of the most influential visions of Christian apologetics in the history of Western Christianity comes from Augustine’s De doctrina Christiana, where the figure of the apostle Paul encountering Stoic and Epicurean philosophers at Athens (Acts 17) becomes inflected with the oratorical skills of a Ciceronian rhetorician:
the interpreter and teacher of [...]
Secularism and Freedom of Conscience by Charles Taylor and Jocelyn Maclure, trans. by Jane Marie Todd. Harvard, 2011, 160pp.
I can remember a time when “secular” was a dirty word. Growing up in an evangelical home secular meant, primarily, secular music: the kind of music which was forbidden because it was by, of, [...]
A Short History of Atheism by Gavin Hyman. I. B. Tauris, 2010, 232pp.
Yes to God? For many believers, this has not been obvious for a long time. No to God? Neither has this been obvious for a long time to unbelievers. Hans Küng, Does God Exist?
Atheism has a long and [...]
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