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David Bentley Hart. 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.
Atheist Delusions: Introduction
David Bentley Hart provides a bold correction of the New Atheists's 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. In his book, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies , David Bentley Hart responds to writings of popular atheists such as Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins with an account of the history of Christianity and the ways in which it revolutionized all aspects of Western culture.
While he will focus primarily on historical exegesis throughout the book, the discussion of freedom and subsequent argument regarding personhood are arguably the most important part of the book. Hart's book is divided into four parts.
In part 1, Hart considers the current state of the atheist and anti-Christian debates, identifying some of their shared assumptions and arguments. Hart uses flashy rhetoric to match the style of the popular atheists, but balances such writing with well-researched, academic arguments in a way that is often absent in the work of his opponents. In chapter 2, Hart begins to outline his argument regarding freedom. This belief stems from the primacy of the will in the modern definition of freedom.
In part 2, Hart articulates and argues against the warped view of Christian history that modern ideology embraces.
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Ideas such as human rights, economic justice, social justice, providing for the impoverished, legal equality, and basic human dignity all stem from the influence of Christianity, not paganism. Hart reminds his readers that religious persecution began under pagans. While some books may have been destroyed, it was primarily because of church monasteries that Hellenistic intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual writings were drawn into Christian metaphysics, theology, ethics, and art. Pagan culture, Hart argues, was already declining when Christianity began to flower.
Atheist Delusions: Introduction
Even his invective has style. He writes with clarity and force, and he drives his points home again and again.
He exposes his opponents errors of fact or logic with ruthless precision. Hart argues for a brave thesis.
Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies
With astonishing success, [he] achieves his objective. Skip to main content. Description Reviews Table of Contents.
Griffiths, First Things. The original revolution. Yerxa, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith.