The Oxford Handbook of Atheism

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-01-21
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Recent books by, among others, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have thrust atheism firmly into the popular, media, and academic spotlight. This so-called New Atheism is arguably the most striking development in western socio-religious culture of the past decade or more. As such, it has spurred fertile (and often heated) discussions both within, and between, a diverse range of disciplines. Yet atheism, and the New Atheism, are by no means co-extensive. Interesting though it indeed is, the New Atheism is a single, historically and culturally specific manifestation of positive atheism (the that there is/are no God/s), which is itself but one form of a far deeper, broader, and more significant global phenomenon.

The Oxford Handbook of Atheism is a pioneering edited volume, exploring atheism - understood in the broad sense of "an absence of belief in the existence of a God or gods" - in all the richness and diversity of its historical and contemporary expressions. Bringing together an international team of established and emerging scholars, it probes the varied manifestations and implications of unbelief from an array of disciplinary perspectives (philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, demography, psychology, natural sciences, gender and sexuality studies, literary criticism, film studies, musicology) and in a range of global contexts (Western Europe, North America, post-communist Europe, the Islamic world, Japan, India). Both surveying and synthesizing previous work, and presenting the major fruits of innovative recent research, the handbook is set to be a landmark text for the study of atheism.

Author Biography

Stephen Bullivant is Lecturer in Theology and Ethics, St Mary's University College.

Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, Florida State University.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Study of Atheism, Stephen Bullivant and Michael Ruse
1: Definitions and Debates
1. Defining Atheism, Stephen Bullivant
2. The Case against Atheism, T. J. Mawson
3. Critiques of Theistic Arguments, A. C. Grayling
4. Arguments for Atheism, Graham Oppy
5. Problems of Evil, Michael L. Peterson
6. Atheism and Morality, Erik J. Wielenberg
7. Atheism and the Meaningfulness of Life, Kimberly A. Blessing
8. Aquinas and Atheism, Brian Davies
2: History of (Western) Atheism
9. The Pre-Socratics to the Hellenistic Age, David Sedley
10. The Roman Empire to the End of the First Millennium, Mark Edwards
11. The Medieval Period, Dorothea Weltecke
12. Renaissance and Reformation, Denis Robichaud
13. The Age of Enlightenment, Alan Charles Kors
14. The (Long) Nineteenth Century, David Nash
15. The Twentieth Century, Callum Brown
16. New Atheism, Thomas Zenk
3: Worldviews and Systems
17. Humanism, Stephen Law
18. Existentialism, Alison Stone
19. Marxism, Peter Thompson
20. Analytic Philosophy, Charles Pigden
21. Jewish Atheism, Jacques Berlinerblau
22. Buddhism, Andrew Skilton
23. Jainism, Anne Vallely
24. Hinduism, Jessica Frazier
4: Atheism and the Natural Sciences
25. Naturalism and the Scientific Method, Michael Ruse
26. Atheism and the Rise of Science, Taner Edis
27. Atheism and Darwinism, David P. Barash
28. Atheism and the Physical Sciences, Victor J. Stenger
5: Atheism and the Social Sciences
29. Atheism and the Secularization Thesis, Frank L. Pasquale and Barry A. Kosmin
30. Psychology of Atheism, Miguel Farias
31. Atheism and Cognitive Science, Jonathan Lanman
32. Atheism and Societal Health, Phil Zuckerman
33. Atheism, Gender, and Sexuality, Melanie A. Brewster
34. Atheism, Health and Well-being, Karen Hwang
35. Conversion and Deconversion, Ralph W. Hood and Zhuo Chen
6: Global Expressions
36. A World of Atheism: Global Demographics, Ariela Keysar and Juhem Navarra-Rivera
37. Western Europe, Lois Lee
38. North America, Ryan T. Cragun, Joseph H. Hammer, Jesse M. Smith
39. Central and Eastern Europe, Irena Borowik, Branko Ančić, Radosław Tyrała
40. Islamic World, Samuli Schielke
41. India, Johannes Quack
42. Japan, Sarah Whylly
7: Atheism and the Arts
43. Literature, Bernard Schweizer
44. Visual Arts, J. Sage Elwell
45. Music, Paul Bertagnolli
46. Film, Nina Power

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