The God Delusion: Much of the criticism leveled at Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion blasts the author for his inadequate understanding of religion

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Author: Donna Bowman
Date: Summer 2007
From: The Midwest Quarterly(Vol. 48, Issue 4)
Publisher: Pittsburg State University - Midwest Quarterly
Document Type: Book review
Length: 1,039 words
Lexile Measure: 1450L

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The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006. 406 pp., notes and index. $27.00 cloth.

Much of the criticism leveled at Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion blasts the author for his inadequate understanding of religion. Indeed, Dawkins does not qualify his withering critique of theism with a nuanced portrayal of its varieties. Cutting a wide swath with his atheistic scythe, he hopes to uproot so many of the commonplace defenses of religion that little will be left standing with any appeal for the ordinary believer. Specifically, he seeks to undermine the reasons a fairly liberal or mainstream believer remains religious. Fundamentalists and dogmaticians of all stripes he considers beyond the reach of reason. But why, he wonders, should the liberal Christian, who no longer holds to a belief in miracles, bodily resurrection, the triune Godhead, and the like, make common cause with those who think angels regularly intervene in human life, or those who build shrines to the image of the Virgin Mary on a leaky concrete abutment? Dawkins aims to bring these wishy-washy fellow travelers out of their twilight into the full sun.

He begins with a consideration (and snooty dismissal) of the standard arguments for the existence of God, and unfortunately for his stated objective manages to deride the best philosophical thought of two millenia. Who are these mainstream liberal Christians likely to be? Why, those who have had a little humanities education, who might consider themselves more intellectual than the populace at large, who are unlikely to respond favorably to...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A166945326