Atheist Delusions The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies David Bentley Hart

Publication date:
23 Feb 2010
Yale University Press
272 pages: 235 x 156mm
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Currently it is fashionable to be devoutly undevout. Religion's most passionate antagonists - Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and others - have publishers competing eagerly to market their various denunciations of religion, monotheism, Christianity, and Roman Catholicism. But contemporary antireligious polemics are based not only upon profound conceptual confusions but upon facile simplifications of history or even outright historical ignorance: so contends David Bentley Hart in this bold correction of the distortions.

One of the most brilliant scholars of religion of our time, Hart provides a powerful antidote to the New Atheists' misrepresentations of the Christian past, bringing into focus the truth about the most radical revolution in 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 reason's 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.

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Winner of the Michael Ramsey Prize

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.

"Takes no prisoners in its response to fashionable criticisms of Christianity." —Dr Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Church Times

"It is a taut and tart introduction to the ideas that drove the Christian Revolution, fired by righteous anger and with an arsenal of learning that explodes off the page." -Nick Mattiske, The Lutheran (Australian Lutheran Church)

"A brilliant investigation of the current fad among intellectuals for atheism." -Contemporary Review

"A provocative work, vigorous, humorous, erudite." —James R. A. Merrick, Scottish Bulletin on Evangelical Theory