Over the past couple of years there has been an unexpected revival of strident atheism of a sort not seen in Europe or America for over half a century. Despite the claims of historians that that the old days of militant atheism are over and the previously sharp distinction between atheist and believer can be expected to be effaced still further in the postmodern climate of general relativism and indifferentism,  the current 'New Atheists' seem to be determined to buck the trend: at the time of writing the works of the new public atheists are topping the best-seller lists, with the most recent contribution to the genre, Christopher Hitchens'"God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything," establishing itself as the latest international bestseller of this kind since its publication in April 2007.
At Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, February 2008.
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Prior to Hitchen's book, Sam Harris'"The End of Faith" (2005)and his subsequent "Letter to a Christian Nation" (2006)sold (and are still selling) very successfully, as did Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" (2006)and (perhaps most successfully of all) Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" (2006).
Dawkins, Dennett and Harris can be regarded as the central trio of the new movement, although more recent adherents also include the British philosopher A.C.Grayling, and the British-American public intellectual Christopher Hitchens. In addition to their publications the New Atheists have also been active in organising academic conferences as a forum for high level discussion of the chief issues raised in their writings. The first of these, Beyond Belief, took place in November 2006, and a subsequent one (Beyond Belief II) took place in October 2007.
The God Delusion. London: Bantam Press, 2006.
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. New York: Penguin, 2006.
Against All Gods. London: Oberon Books, 2007.
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2004.
Letter to a Christian Nation. London: Bantam, 2007.
God Is Not Great: The Case against Religion. London: Atlantic Books, 2007.
Histoire de L'atheisme. La Fleche: Fayard, 1998.
↑ See, for example, Georges Minois, Histoire de L'atheisme (La Fleche:
↑ Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: The Case against Religion (London: Atlantic Books, 2007).
↑ Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2004).
↑ Letter to a Christian Nation (London: Bantam, 2007).
↑ Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (New York: Penguin, 2006).
↑ Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (London: Bantam Press, 2006).
↑ A.C. Grayling, Against All Gods (London: Oberon Books, 2007).