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The New Atheism, Myth, and History

The Black Legends of Contemporary Anti-Religion

Authors: Johnstone, Nathan

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  • Examines the role of history itself in the New Atheism
  • Provides  in depth case studies of the polemical use of anti-religious myths contrasted with a detailed of the findings of academic historians
  • Provides an academic defense of history against its increasing casual cultural and polemical misuse
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eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-89456-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-89455-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-07774-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

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.

About the authors

Nathan Johnstone is a specialist in cultural and religious history, and is the author of The Devil and Demonism in Early Modern England. He has taught history at Canterbury Christ Church University and at the University of Portsmouth, UK.

 


Reviews

“The New Atheism, Myth, and History intends to overcome this lack of critical reflection on the cultural and historical claims from a predominantly historical perspective. … Nathan Johnstone’sThe New Atheism, Myth, and History. The Black Legends of Contemporary Anti-Religion is a must read for anyone who seriously seeks to engage in the debate concerning the historical and culture impact of religion on the course of history.” (Benedikt Paul Göcke, Reading Religion, readingreligion.org, January, 2019)​
“Johnstone masterfully displays yet another hole in the New Atheist polemic against religion – their selective and distorted use of historical evidence to attack religion.  Johnstone is no apologist for religion, but he amply demonstrates how the New Atheists have created their own mythological version of history, one in which religion is the source of all violence, repression, and irrationality, and in which atheism and rationalism is the hero of freedom, enlightenment, and benevolence.  Whether one is an atheist, agnostic or believer, one ought to read this book for a clearheaded account of religion’s role in notorious historical episodes as the witch hunts, the Inquisition, Nazism, and the Galileo affair.” (Whitley Kaufman, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, USA)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-89456-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-89455-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-07774-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The New Atheism, Myth, and History
Book Subtitle
The Black Legends of Contemporary Anti-Religion
Authors
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-89456-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-89456-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-89455-3
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-07774-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 309
Topics