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After Atheism: Science, Religion and the Meaning of Life Paperback – January 22, 2008
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'Between religion and atheism is a third way into which Vernon takes his readers. It is a challenging, cogently argued perspective.' - Good Book Guide
'For twenty years I have been waiting for a book that exposes the empty certainties of religious fundamentalism and its secular twin: scientific triumphalism. Mark Vernon has delivered that and much, much more.' - Mark Dowd, broadcaster and film-maker
'He defends ambiguity and undecidability with an almost Evangelical zeal. And because he writes with such a delicate blend of deft coolness on the one hand, and fervour on the other, many are likely to be both enchanted and persuaded by his apologetics. - Martyn Percy, Church Times
'The strength of the book...is in challenging false certainties, whether pseudo-scientific or pseudo-religious.' - Dolan Cummings, The Institute of Ideas
'This book is more than a well-reasoned argument for agnosticism; it is a timely reminder of the recognition of human limits, in all areas, and a suggestion that the possibility of living within the mystery that is the world can be a good thing.' - Robert L. Smith, Jr., International Journal of Public Theology
About the Author
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"He who reverently pursues the Boundless, even though he will never attain it, will himself advance by pushing forward in his pursuit" - St Hilary
He draws on philosophy of science for his chapters in this area, which may be challenging for rationalists who haven't come across this well-founded discipline. Mark Vernon has a PhD in philosophy, and deals well with various thinkers, for example there's a full chapter on "Following Socrates". He uses a light touch, and educated readers who aren't familiar with some lesser-known philosophers won't find it too difficult. He concludes with a very practical and winsome chapter on "How to be an agnostic".
Some may simply dismiss him as a "woolly liberal", but I think this would be premature and unfair. Engaging with his thoughts may allow for the discomfort of agnosticism to be a valid and solid third way. This book won't be completely satisfying to everyone, but simply for its novelty, thoughtfulness and realness this earns five stars from me.