Atheist Delusions has ratings and reviews. David Bentley Hart provides a bold correction of the New Atheists’s misrepresentations of the Christian. Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies is a book by the theologian, philosopher, and cultural commentator David Bentley Hart. The book explores what Hart identifies as historical and popular. The New Atheist thing seems to be moribund at the moment, although the half- corpse sometimes twitches. But that may paradoxically make this.

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David Hart is one of America’s sharpest minds, and this is Hart in full, all guns firing and the band playing on the atehist. Rejecting “religion” as an unmitigated evil would lead to the incomprehensible but it seems rapidly approaching condition of looking at the world as one giant playground of biological machines, subject to nothing more than their mutual and collective wills.

Refresh and try again. IF that is what his argument amounts to. Having said all this I don’t want to upend secular modernity; my conservatism leads me to be wary of any type of revolution – even if its a revolution back towards conservatism. felusions

Atheist Delusions : David Bentley Hart :

In brief, Galileo not only did not have good arguments, betrayed his good friend the Pope, and had no patience for the rigorous calculations and observations that one would expect of an astronomer, but even after all atheeist that he at best suffered a slap on the wrist for publishing propaganda instead of what he was supposed to a scientific argument.

Rather, Christianity has its own telling of the story, a telling that reworks the categories of human existence within the framework of its own story. It takes me a while to read a Hart book because I have to stop after almost every other line and marvel at its compelling sophistication and insight. Nov 14, Daniel Wright rated it really liked it Shelves: Hart digs into the real history of religion, paganism, and secularism and strives to clear up misconceptions about each with the intention of creating an accurate fundamental understanding of history upon which real dialogue can be based.

And, fairly enough, Hart does not shy from mentioning both the good and bad effects. He makes some interesting and no doubt valid points including that the witch hunts were not nearly as bad as is imagined and that the church actually tended to suppress them rather encourage th Hart takes on some of the prevailing themes in the popular New Atheist literature including the idea that religion has been delueions primary source of misery throughout history and that its effects were only mitigated as the chains of superstition were thrown off with the scientific revolution and enlightenment.

If you atyeist read Hart you’ll get a chance to sharpen your arguments against a really good mind.

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. Hart athist the erudition and knowledge of both a classical philosophical jart theological education. Needless to say, this is a call for a return delusiohs the most basic and utter primitivism, that in our modern age of confusion and ignorance is absurdly masquerading as “progress”. Will we lose all this in a post-Christian society? That is the early Church struggled over who God and Jesus were and how they related because the were so concerned with humans, made in the image of God, related to the Creator of all.


Hart notes that in a world of nihilistic freedom, collective choice can trump individual choice, leading to massacres of those the collective deems unworthy see the various genocides—not just the Holocaust—of the 20th century. Worse still, the new atheists rely on Christian ethical values in their own morality. The general myth in our culture, promoted not just by new atheist but older critics of Christianity as well, is that the ancient world was a place of reason and prosperity until Christianity came along and replaced it with dogmatic faith, plunging western culture into centuries of “dark ages” from which we only emerged in the modern period with the Enlightenment and a return to reason.


This new order called for exclusive demand and change of one’s passions, views of God, and obligations towards one’s neighbor. Readable polemic persuasive to me. In other words, we spent millenia refining these high concepts of the value of man, only to toss them out the window on the backs of a few undergraduate level NYT bestsellers.

Hart exposes the logical and historical errors pervasive to modern atheism and modernism in general, and reaffirms the heart of Athheist and the new humanity it created. May 24, Paul rated it it was amazing Shelves: Want to Read saving…. The “Christian Revolution” alluded to in the book’s title doesn’t refer to a coming event, but the revolutionary arrival of Christianity several centuries ago which transformed a formerly pagan world. Hart really does give it to the new atheists, and he does it by correcting false assumptions from history, theology, and the role of Christianity in both.

Rather, Christianity changed the way the violent, militant pagan world thought through its novel message and social impact e.

Review: David Bentley Hart, “Atheist Delusions”

The fat middle of this book is where the thesis is really developed. After all, if there’s no more God that we take seriously and the idea of the infinite value of each human life is now quaint – why not use torture when we feel we need it? I should not have used is at my bedtime reading! In fact, for Hart, Nietzsche sees most clearly the place of Christianity in the West and doesn’t so much discount it, but abhor it This was a thorough evisceration of the standard pop atheist arguments that appeared at the hight of the New Atheist movement, circa Like all good things, this book must end.

Review: David Bentley Hart, “Atheist Delusions” | Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

The selfish part of me is frustrated that Hart’s great intelligence and eloquence are wasted on purging the ahheist effluents of the Ditchkens Industrial Complex. View all 6 comments. But when it comes to the present, Hart fails to see the same possibilities, the same gospel leaven at work, and one gets the sense that Hart is something of delusjons romantic, looking back in longing for the old days and rather bewildered by the modern world he faces.

Doing this however requires honest and complete knowledge of the past, and specifically knowledge of how we got here today.

Should we really be surprised to find so many good contributions from Christianity in Western history when Christianity has dominated Western delusionx for so long, including the present and it’s values, all this despite one’s view of modernity and post-modernity? Therefore, Hart meticulously shows how Christianity did not impede science the chapter on Galileo is hilariousburn witches the Inquisition, despite its bad moments, actually limited the bloodiness of the State’s persecution of hereticsor fight religious wars the Crusades are actually a different case, worthy of a conversation but not under this topic.


What really was the difference? It takes me a while to read a Hart book because I have to stop after almost every other line and marvel at I came to this book mostly because of the author, whose “impressive erudition and polemical panache” Richard John Neuhaus, of First Things are things I grew to both envy and adore while reading “Doors athsist the Sea. The general myth in our culture, promoted not just by new atheist but older critics of Christianity as well, is that the ancient world was a place of reason and prosperity until Christianity came along and replaced it with dogmatic faith, plunging western culture into centuries of “dark ages” from which we only emerged in the modern period with the E Hart does not systematically respond to the “New Atheists” here, instead he focuses on aspects of their attack on Christianity relating to history.

This is discussed in chapters 16 and It also assumes knowledge of detailed early Roman and church history, which I just don’t have. A lot of this book is a recap of Christian history intended to be a rebuttal of the popular modern characterization of it as one huge shameful mistake. My intention here was less a review than a summary of my thoughts and takeaways from this book, but needless to say it was a worthwhile, clearminded work of rare quality.

We have refined our ability to be cruel to one another past anything we’ve ever seen. This book doesn’t really tackle the broader issue of delusiobs God is actually ontologically real, but does to my mind show convincingly that the Christian story of the person and the world was haart to the the fatalism of the pagan world.

The book is broadly divided into four parts: But whatever the case, Hart’s rhetoric is perfect for laying out the new atheists. Most important is the recognition that the rise of Christianity was so revolutionary and changed western culture so thoroughly in positive ways hospitals, charity, view of humanity, etc. The book is full of scorn and is clearly written, and is self-identified as, a polemic against naturalistic modernity. And he does this without glossing over various failures and problems in the story as well.

For Hart’s polemics, I preferred his Experience of God and for Christian history I prefer anything by Peter Brown, but this was a pleasing exploration of what may have been at stake as “paganism” gave way to Christianity, a religion, culture, and philosophy that is now giving way to a kind of post-Christian culture in the global West.

Sep 27, David rated it really liked it Shelves: