NEWS: Triumph of ‘New Atheism’?

atheist_bus_campaign_citaroMadeleine Bunting (The Guardian) uses the start of Holy Week to highlight what she describes as the spectacularly rapid collapse of British Christianity. Furthermore, she identifies the fundamental role of the ‘New atheists’ as one of drowning out real debate about faith.

It is the perceived rise of the ‘New atheist debate’ which gives Bunting the focus for her article, suggesting that ‘[i]ncreasingly, one hears a distaste for the polemics of the New Atheist debate and its foghorn volume, and how it has drowned out any other kind of conversation about religion.’ In an effort to combat this, Bunting explores various different viewpoints – including those of Andrew Motion, John Gray, Karen Armstrong and A. N. Wilson – in an attempt to explore the anxiety fermented by the supposed dominance of atheism.

In conclusion, Ms. Bunting proposes that the media is simply focusing attention on the wrong question. Instead of concentrating on the ascent of ‘New Atheism’ (and by default the death of religiosity) she suggests that we should all consider ‘what it [religion] is, the loss of it, whether it matters, and what happens in a post-religious society?’

The Social Ethic of Religiously Unaffiliated Spirituality
By Siobhan Chandler
(Vol. 3, February 2008)
Religion Compass

Myth and Science: Their Varying Relationships
By Robert A. Segal
(Vol. 4, February 2009)
Religion Compass

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