God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens

John F. Haught, Author
John F. Haught, Author . Westminster John Knox $16.95 (124p) ISBN 978-0-664-23304-4
Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 02/01/2008
Open Ebook - 156 pages - 978-0-664-23471-3
Hardcover - 142 pages - 978-1-61164-193-6
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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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