Short thoughts 3 – "New Atheism"

UPDATE: this is starting on Saturday; if any Mersea people want to join in there are a few places left – just let me know.

This is just a plug – I’ve agreed to do a course, spread across two Saturdays next May, exploring the “New Atheism” – what it is, where it’s from, what’s wrong with it, how Christians should respond to it, etc etc.

It will run 10-4 on Saturdays 14th and 21st May, at West Mersea Church Hall.


PURPOSE / AIM of module:
To familiarise students with the main arguments and methods of the “New Atheists”, to understand where they stand in intellectual history, and to have renewed understanding of – and confidence in – the classical Christian intellectual tradition.

General – including COURSE CONTENT
Six main teaching sessions spread over the two Saturdays, plus time for small groups and plenary discussions. The six teaching sessions are expected to cover:
Introduction/Overview, with especial attention to Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’
Philosophical roots 1: Hume and Logical Positivism
Philosophical roots 2: Locke and the ethics of religious belief
Theological roots: the Christian origins of atheism
Different types of theism: classical and personal
How should a Christian respond to an atheist?

TARGET GROUP – including prior experience needed etc.
No prior philosophical expertise will be assumed for this course, just an interest in the subject matter to be covered – all technical terms will be fully explained. It would be helpful if participants had read Dawkins’ ‘God Delusion’ or a similar book before coming on the course.

For a flavour of my approach to these questions, have a look at my ‘Reasonable Atheism’ series of posts, which are listed here.