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The Twilight of Atheism

The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World

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Paperback published by WaterBrook Press (The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group)

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About This Book
In this bold and provocative new book, the author of In the Beginning and The Reenchantment of Nature challenges the widely held assumption that the world is becoming more secular and demonstrates why atheism cannot provide the moral and intellectual guidance essential for coping with the complexities of modern life.

Atheism is one of the most important movements in modern Western culture. For the last two hundred years, it seemed to be on the verge of eliminating religion as an outmoded and dangerous superstition. Recent years, however, have witnessed the decline of disbelief and a rise in religious devotion throughout the world. In THE TWILIGHT OF ATHEISM, the distinguished historian and theologian Alister McGrath examines what went wrong with the atheist dream and explains why religion and faith are destined to play a central role in the twenty-first century.

A former atheist who is now one of Christianity’s foremost scholars, McGrath traces the history of atheism from its emergence in eighteenth-century Europe as a revolutionary worldview that offered liberation from the rigidity of traditional religion and the oppression of tyrannical monarchs, to its golden age in the first half of the twentieth century. Blending thoughtful, authoritative historical analysis with incisive portraits of such leading and influential atheists as Sigmund Freud and Richard Dawkins, McGrath exposes the flaws at the heart of atheism, and argues that the renewal of faith is a natural, inevitable, and necessary response to its failures.

THE TWILIGHT OF ATHEISM will unsettle believers and nonbelievers alike. A powerful rebuttal of the philosophy that, for better and for worse, has exerted tremendous influence on Western history, it carries major implications for the future of both religion and unbelief in our society.
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In this bold and provocative new book, the author of In the Beginning and The Reenchantment of Nature challenges the widely held assumption that the world is becoming more secular and demonstrates why atheism cannot provide the moral and intellectual guidance essential for coping with the complexities of modern life.

Atheism is one of the most important movements in modern Western culture. For the last two hundred years, it seemed to be on the verge of eliminating religion as an outmoded and dangerous superstition. Recent years, however, have witnessed the decline of disbelief and a rise in religious devotion throughout the world. In THE TWILIGHT OF ATHEISM, the distinguished historian and theologian Alister McGrath examines what went wrong with the atheist dream and explains why religion and faith are destined to play a central role in the twenty-first century.

A former atheist who is now one of Christianity’s foremost scholars, McGrath traces the history of atheism from its emergence in eighteenth-century Europe as a revolutionary worldview that offered liberation from the rigidity of traditional religion and the oppression of tyrannical monarchs, to its golden age in the first half of the twentieth century. Blending thoughtful, authoritative historical analysis with incisive portraits of such leading and influential atheists as Sigmund Freud and Richard Dawkins, McGrath exposes the flaws at the heart of atheism, and argues that the renewal of faith is a natural, inevitable, and necessary response to its failures.

THE TWILIGHT OF ATHEISM will unsettle believers and nonbelievers alike. A powerful rebuttal of the philosophy that, for better and for worse, has exerted tremendous influence on Western history, it carries major implications for the future of both religion and unbelief in our society.
Product Details
Paperback (320 pages)
Published: February 21, 2006
Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Imprint: WaterBrook Press
ISBN: 9780385500623
Other books byAlister McGrath
  • Christianity's Dangerous Idea

    Christianity's Dangerous Idea
    The Protestant Revolution--A History from the...
    A New Interpretation of Protestantism and Its Impact on the World The radical idea that individuals could interpret the Bible for themselves spawned a revolution that is still being played out on the world stage today. This innovation lies at the heart of Protestantism's remarkable instability and adaptability. World-renowned scholar Alister McGrath sheds new light on the fascinating figures and movements that continue to inspire debate and division across the full spectrum of Protestant churches and communities worldwide.

    Knowing Christ

    Knowing Christ
    Alister McGrath is a widely acknowledged master of contemporary spirituality, and in Knowing Christ he has written a profound meditation on one of the most deceptively simple-sounding tenets of the Christian faith, the centrality of Christ in the life of his followers. Written in an accessible style that will appeal to Christians of all denominations, Knowing Christ aims to stimulate a more direct and intimate relationship between Christ and the reader by engaging not just the intellect but, more important, the heart and imagination. It is a work of spirituality saturated with biblical texts and themes, but it also draws on the rich tradition in art and literature of Christian reflection on the centrality of Christ throughout the ages. The result is a lively, engaging, and always inspiring book of twenty-first century spirituality from one of the world's most popular and respected Christian writers, a book that will strengthen the faith of all who read it. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    Heresy

    Heresy
    A History of Defending the Truth
    Why the Church must defend the truth. Our ongoing fascination with alternative Christianities is ondisplay every time a never-before-seen gospel text is revealed,an archaeological discovery about Jesus makes front-page news, or anew work of fiction challenges the very foundations of the church.Now, in a timely corrective to this trend, renowned church historianAlister McGrath examines the history of subversive ideas, overturningcommon misconceptions that heresy is somehow more spiritual orliberating than traditional dogma. In so doing, he presents a powerful,compassionate orthodoxy that will equip the church to meet thechallenge from renewed forms of heresy today.

    The Reenchantment of Nature

    The Reenchantment of Nature
    The Denial of Religion and the Ecological Crisis
    In this provocative assessment of the world's current ecological crisis, the author of the critically acclaimed In the Beginning exposes the false assumptions underlying the conflicts between science and religion, and proposes an innovative approach to saving the planet. Traditionally, science and religion have been thought of as two distinct and irreconcilable ways of looking at the world, and scientists have often chastised the world's religions for keeping their eyes on the heavens and paying scant attention to the destruction of Earth's precious resources and its natural wonders. In The Reenchantment of Nature, Alister McGrath, who holds doctorates in both molecular biology and divinity, challenges this long-held and dangerously misguided dichotomy. Arguing that Christianity and other great religions have always respected and revered the bounty and beauty of the earth, McGrath calls for a radical shift in perspective. He shows that by defining the world in the narrowest of scientific terms and viewing it as a collection of atoms and molecules governed by unchanging laws and forces, we have lost our ability to appreciate nature's enchantments. In order to address the threats to our environment, he maintains, it is essential to reawaken our sense of awe and look at the world as a glorious creation, an irreplaceable gift of God. In setting forth a new framework for the debate between science and religion on ecological theory, The Reenchantment of Nature points the way to integrating two different traditions in a sane and productive effort to rescue the natural world from its present environmental decline. From the Hardcover edition.

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