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Introduction: What Is The New Atheism?

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Chapter Summary

The term new atheism has been given to the recent barrage of antireligion and anti-God books written by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and others. This book brings together eminent and rising scholars in the fields of religious studies, sociology of religion, sociology of science, philosophy, and theology in order to engage the new atheist literature and place it in the context of larger scholarly discourses and debates. The academic community, with a few exceptions, has largely dismissed their writings as unsophisticated, crude, and lacking nuance. The book places the new atheism within a larger context of debates going on in academia in fields as diverse as cognitive science, sociology of religion, philosophy of religion, and ethics. It explores some of the philosophical arguments put forth by the new atheists.

Keywords: anti-God books; antireligion books; new atheism; philosophy of religion; sociology of religion

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