From Publishers Weekly
The recent spate of books from atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and (most stridently) Christopher Hitchens has prompted many pundits and scholars to label the trend the New Atheism. Haught uses the term, but argues that there is nothing really new about the New Atheism; it is instead a rehashing of antireligious arguments that are as old as the Enlightenment. In fact, Haught criticizes the New Atheism as being theologically unchallenging, its all-or-nothing thinking representing about the same level of reflection on faith that one can find in contemporary creationist and fundamentalist literature. Haught draws upon theologians such as Tillich, Bultmann, Ricoeur, McFague and Pannenberg to refute some of the New Atheists' most common contentions. Through most of Haught's book, his approach is straight theism, with the exclusively or specifically Christian arguments coming near the end. Although this book is more accessible than some of Haught's earlier theological work (e.g., Is Nature Enough?
), it is still challenging and serious; readers will need to follow scientific, theological, philosophical and logical threads to keep up. The reward is worth it, however, as Haught lays out the fundamental issues clearly and without the vitriol that has characterized Hitchens et al. as well as many of their interlocutors. (Feb.)
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About the Author
John F. Haught
is Senior Fellow in Science and Religion at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D. C. One of the world's leading thinkers in the field of theology and science, Haught was Chair and Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown from 1970 to 2005. An international lecturer and prolific author, his books include Christianity and Science
, God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution
, and the prize-winning Deeper than Darwin: The Prospects for Religion in the Age of Evolution