After the New Atheist Debate
The first decade of the twenty-first century saw a number of best-selling books which not only challenged the existence of god, but claimed that religious faith was dangerous and immoral. The New Atheists, as writers such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett have become known, sparked a vicious debate over religion’s place in modern society.
In After the New Atheist Debate, Phil Ryan offers both an elegant summary of this controversy and a path out of the cul-de-sac that this argument has become. Drawing on the social sciences, philosophy, and theology, Ryan examines the claims of the New Atheists and of their various religious and secular opponents and finds both sides wanting.
Rather than the mutual demonization that marks the New Atheist debate, Ryan argues that modern society needs respectful ethical dialogue in which citizens present their points of view and seek to understand the positions of others. Lucidly written and clearly argued, After the New Atheist Debate is a book that brings welcome clarity and a solid path to the often contentious conversation about religion in the public sphere.
- Series: UTP Insights
- World Rights
- Page Count: 208 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.0in
Reviews&ldquo Phillip Ryan is a talented author. He writes with humour and subtlety... This is a lovely book.”
Blacklock's Reporter, Saturday February 7, 2015
‘Ryan has written a lucid, balanced book on the New Atheist debate; free of rancor, invective, and name-calling… The work is highly recommended for detailing the logical and moral weaknesses in much New Atheist, anti-religious polemics.’
The Heythrop Journal vol 56:2015
‘After the New Atheist Debate offers a fascinating glimpse into the arguments, polemics, and caricatures this debate has inspired along with innovative suggestions concerning how we might better navigate our shared social context through meaningful dialogue.’
Reading Religion: A Publication of American Academy of Religion, November 2016
After the New Atheist Debate succeeds in shifting a weary and tension-filled intellectual exchange onto new ground…. It conveys a powerful and much needed social message: there is hope for public discourse.’
European Journal of Theology, vol 25:02:2016
“After the New Atheist Debate is a book that needed to be written. Astute and timely, it will serve as a touchstone for those who seek to put the ‘New Atheist’ debates into a broader social and political perspective.”
Paul Allen, Department of Theological Studies, Concordia University
“Phil Ryan competently and elegantly challenges the caricatures associated with both sides of the New Atheist debate. His book offers insights into the kind of critical conversation we might have despite the shortcomings of each side.”
Paul Bramadat, Director, Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria
Author InformationPhil Ryan is an associate professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. His most recent book, Multicultiphobia, was shortlisted for the Canada Prize in the Social Sciences in 2011.
Table of contents
Part One: The New Atheist Debate
1. Charges and Defence: An Overview
2. Faith, Reason, Radical Evil
3. Clashing Caricatures
4. The Serious and the Wishy-Washy
Part Two: Life Together
5. New Atheist Ethics
6. The Defenders’ Moral Foundations
7. Can We Live without Foundations?
8. Ethical Dialogue
Conclusion: Is This Enough?
Subjects and Courses