The New Atheism, Myth, and History: The Black Legends of Contemporary Anti-Religion

This book examines the misuse of history in New Atheism and militant anti-religion. It looks at how episodes such as the Witch-hunt, the Inquisition, and the Holocaust are mythologized to present religion as inescapably prone to violence and discrimination, whilst the darker side of atheist history,...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Johnstone, Nathan (Author)
Format: Electronic Book
Language:English
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Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Published: Cham Springer International Publishing 2018
Series/Journal:SpringerLink Bücher
Further subjects:B Europe History-1492-
B Religious Studies
B Europe History—1492-
B Religion
B Religion History
B Secularism
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
Parallel Edition:Erscheint auch als: 978-3-319-89455-3
Printed edition: 9783319894553
Description
Summary:This book examines the misuse of history in New Atheism and militant anti-religion. It looks at how episodes such as the Witch-hunt, the Inquisition, and the Holocaust are mythologized to present religion as inescapably prone to violence and discrimination, whilst the darker side of atheist history, such as its involvement in Stalinism, is denied. At the same time, another constructed history-that of a perpetual and one-sided conflict between religion and science/rationalism-is commonly used by militant atheists to suggest the innate superiority of the non-religious mind. In a number of detailed case studies, the book traces how these myths have long been overturned by historians, and argues that the New Atheism’s cavalier use of history is indicative of a troubling approach to the humanities in general. Nathan Johnstone engages directly with the God debate at an academic level and contributes to the emerging study of non-religion as a culture and an identity
Introduction: History and the New Atheism -- Superstition and the Stake: Witch-hunting and the Terrible Consequences of Believing in the Supernatural -- Faith and the Stake: Heresy and Religious Totalitarianism -- Chalking up Six Million Deaths to Religion: Appropriating the Holocaust -- The Rational Tradition and Atomism -- Heroes and Martyrs: Witch-Hunting and the Dangers of Scepticism -- The Hostile Utopia: Atheist Oppression and the Assault on Religion in the USSR -- From the Spanish Toca to the American Waterboard: the Strange Yardstick of Ethical Progress -- Atheism, Religion and the Myth of Cultural Distance -- The Moderation of the Unfinished Thought: Militancy, Polemical Cavalierism and Atheisms
ISBN:3319894560
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-89456-0