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After Atheism: Science, Religion and the Meaning of Life Paperback – January 22, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230013422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230013421
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,882,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'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

MARK VERNON is a writer, broadcaster, blogger(www.philosophyandlife.com) and journalist. He published Business: The Key Concepts with Routledge in 2002 as well as chapters on philosophy in various academic books. He was a priest in the Church of England 1994-1996 and holds a PhD in Philosophy from Warwick University, UK. He is the author The Philosophy of Friendship (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Elliot on June 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
I suspect both committed agnostics who lean toward atheism, and committed christians will find this book annoying. Vernon has been both. For me, I found it very helpful on my journey. Readable, full of insights I hadn't come across, and great quotes, eg

"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.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By peter veitch on March 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
mixed feelings , admirably questions the dogmas of religion and strong atheism, tries a little too hard IMO to please everyone.. a personal journey, a bit fluffy for a phd , the theologian seems to recur on him.. the search for something more , good, the critique of scientism, good, the vague unknowingness , he seems a little too certain about that . worth a read, some good insights. The personal journey an interesting story
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