Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Twilight of Atheism

I took advantadge of one of my first calm saturday to finish a book I have long been reading, I have got interested to read a book about atheism when I could saw some atheist books very well marketed here, but I rather choose a more general book instead of a response from McGrath to Dawkins book, already translated to Portuguese but not marketed as well.
I thought Twilight of Atheism: the rise and fall of disbelief in the modern world a very well organized book and also very well researched, I could found a well done chronology of atheism related to what was happening in Christianity and history at those time.
Besides the very good historical chronology of religion I could saw a very interesting point of view on which faith (and absent of it) is very related to imaginary, when we steal the imaginary from the faith it will not nourish.
Also, McGrath purposes that atheism grows when religion is closely related to power. He made think frequently on Bush era and those atheist books released:
"Where religion is seen to oppress, confine, deprive, and limit, atheism may well be seen as offering humanity a larger vision of freedom. But where religion manages to anchor itself in the hearts and minds of ordinary people, is sensitive to their needs and concerns, and offers them a better future, the less credible the atheist critique will appear. Believers need to realize that, strange though it may seem, it is they who will have the greatest impact on atheism's future."

Besides the historic chronogram of atheism, faith and religion I recommend two chapters very closely related to emerging church issues: "Disconnection from the Sacred: Protestantism and Atheism" where McGrath ties Protestantism ascetism of liturgy to lack of immagination to atheism and "Postmodernity: Atheism and Radical Cultural Change" where he describes very well modernism and postmodernism.

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