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Taking on intellectual heavy hitters such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, David Bentley Hart has penned an outstanding and debilitating argument that Richard John Neuhaus believes "smites" the "recycl[ed] hoary arguments" of the "New Atheism" while John Milbank goes so far to suggest, "Dawkins, Hitchens, et al, would never have dared put pen to paper" had they believed God could create a thinker like David Bentley Hart.
Learned, provocative, and exceptionally philosophically sophisticated, this book is a must read for anyone engaging in this great and long lasting philosophical debate. This book may, perhaps, provide a turning point and foundation upon which Atheism as a philosophy may cease to exist and new Christian revolution be ignited.
Number of Pages: 253
Vendor: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2010
|Dimensions: 9.30 X 6.20 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
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In this provocative book one of the most brilliant scholars of religion today dismantles distorted religious "histories" offered up by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and other contemporary critics of religion and advocates of atheism. David Bentley Hart provides a bold correction of the New Atheistss misrepresentations of the Christian past, countering their polemics with a brilliant account of Christianity and its message of human charity as the most revolutionary movement in all of Western history.
Hart outlines how Christianity transformed the ancient world in ways we may have forgotten: bringing liberation from fatalism, conferring great dignity on human beings, subverting the cruelest aspects of pagan society, and elevating charity above all virtues. He then argues that what we term the "Age of Reason" was in fact the beginning of the eclipse of reasons authority as a cultural value. Hart closes the book in the present, delineating the ominous consequences of the decline of Christendom in a culture that is built upon its moral and spiritual values.
David Bentley Hart is the author of several books, including In the Aftermath: Provocations and Laments and The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth. He lives in Providence, RI.
DesireePinellas Park, FLAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Great bookSeptember 6, 2012DesireePinellas Park, FLAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Book was in excellent condition, and, is extremely interesting and informative.
boustrophedonAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5March 11, 2010boustrophedonAge: 45-54Gender: maleI first encountered David Bentley Hart in his essay "Christ and Nothing". In 241 pages, Atheist Delusions expands upon that essay's theme: "Christianity took the gods away, subdued them so utterly that, try though we might, we can never really believe in them again." Hart also explores this modern age's understanding of freedom as unfettered will, and compares it to the traditional understanding of freedom as the ability to act in accordance with one's nature: to be or become one's true self.Despite the title, this book is not merely a refutation of Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and the rest of the New Atheists; Hart soundly swats them early on, and takes a few more swings along the way, but for most of the book he concentrates on the true history of Christianity, the pagan world it supplanted (and at times, regrettably, imitated), and the revolutionary implications of its teachings (in this, resembling the main theme of Cahill's The Gifts of the Jews). He ends on a pessimistic note -- with regards to the world only, not to the ongoing and ultimately victorious Christian revolution, which may presently be on the verge of another season of "purification in the desert" -- comparing modern efforts to roll back the prevailing post-Christian culture to Julian the Apostate's heartfelt but unsuccessful attempt to re-paganize the Roman Empire over which he ruled.If some of these sentences strike you as wordy and difficult to follow, be warned that Professor Hart routinely writes like that, only with greater depth and clarity than I can manage off the top of my head. One paragraph I chose at random (from pp. 14-15) had a Flesch Reading Ease score of 27.5 and a Flesch-Kincaid grade level of 17.0: grad-school stuff. But please don't let that intimidate you. Hart is a wise and patient teacher, and once you become attuned to his voice, you will learn many good and encouraging things.
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