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Beating ‘God’ To Death: Radical Theology And The New Atheism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that the so-called new atheists are guilty of the same problems that Tillich predicted of future atheism, and suggests a radical theological critique of the new atheism. It argues that the new atheists do not go far enough in their critique of traditional Christianity and that new atheism is insufficiently radical. The chapter first draws on the radical theology of the American death of God movement, which paradoxically proposes an atheistic Christianity that is both atheistic and theistic. Second, it examines how theology itself has been made radical by passing through the crucible of the death of God. It shows that the idea of a Christian God is not one that is so easy to knock down or simply argue away with atheism, precisely because the concept of God in Christianity is dynamic, contradictory, imprecise, dependent on interpretation, and therefore highly resistant to logical or empirical dismissal.

Keywords: American death of God movement; concept of God in Christianity; new atheism; radical theology; theological theism

10.1163/ej.9789004185579.i-253.15
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