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Monday, March 10, 2008

On the Shelf

Chris Hedges, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School's seminary and author of American Fascists about the religious fundamentalists of the Christian right, has a written a new book in which he takes on the "new atheists" and their attack on religion—led by the core four of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. In I Don't Believe in Atheists, Hedges argues that these atheists are secular fundamentalists, which he views to be just as radical, extreme, and strident as the religious kind.
"This book raises some interesting points, but rests on shaky foundations," Lorenzo DiTommaso, an assistant professor of theology at Concordia University in Montreal, writes in a review of the book. "His book promises a reply to Hitchens and the others, but instead responds to a straw man of his own design. Of course, this is not to say that there is no reply to Hitchens, et al., as the many (and often convincing) responses in literary circles attest," adds DiTommaso. "Hedges asserts, with some justification, that atheists don't understand religion. The problem with this book is that Hedges doesn't understand atheism." —Heather Wax