Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable EnemiesDavid Bentley HartYale University Press / 2010 / Trade Paperback$15.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 2 Reviews
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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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