Whether understood in a narrow sense as the popular works of a small number of (white male) authors, or as a larger more diffuse movement, over the past decade or so scholars, journalists, and activists from all ‘sides’ in the atheism versus theism debate, have noted the emergence of a particular form of atheism frequently dubbed ‘New Atheism’. Exactly what this New Atheism is, or who ought to count as a New Atheist, is not an issue that we sought to set out, or determine, in any strict sense at the beginning of the project, rather we have left such considerations as matters best determined by our contributors; our reasoning on this point is something we will return to shortly.
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Although, as shall be evidenced from the chapters that follow—Lee ’s in particular—the ‘New Atheism’ can be understood as having impacts far beyond the (‘merely’) intellectual.
The writings of other atheists who have a distinctly ‘anti-New Atheism’ thrust could also be included here, such as Alain de Botton ’s Religion for Atheists (2012).
Since then, there have been a number of landmark publications in these areas, including Christel Manning ’s Losing Our Religion: How Unaffiliated Parents Are Raising Their Children (2015), Tiina Mahlamäki ’s ‘Religion and atheism from a gender perspective’ (2012), and Lori Beaman ’s ‘Freedom of and Freedom from Religion: Atheist Involvement in Legal Cases’ (2015).
Altemeyer, Bob. 2010. Atheism and Secularity in North America. In Atheism and Secularity – Volume 2: Global Expressions, ed. Phil Zuckerman, 1–21. Santa Barbara: Praeger.
Amarasingam, Amarnath. 2010a. What Is the New Atheism? A Thematic Overview. In Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal, ed. Amarnath Amarasingam, 1–8. Leiden: Brill.
———, ed. 2010b. Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal. Leiden: Brill.
Beaman, Lori G. 2015. Freedom of and Freedom from Religion: Atheist Involvement in Legal Cases. In Atheist Identities – Spaces and Social Contexts, ed. Lori G. Beaman and Steven Tomlins, 39–52. Dordrecht: Springer.
Beaman, Lori G., and Steven Tomlins, eds. 2015. Atheist Identities – Spaces and Social Contexts. Dordrecht: Springer.
Beattie, Tina. 2007. The New Atheists: The Twilight of Reason and the War on Religion. London: Darton, Longman and Todd.
Borowik, Irena, Branko Ančić, and Radosľaw Tyraľa. 2013. Central and Eastern Europe. In The Oxford Handbook of Atheism, ed. Stephen Bullivant and Michael Ruse, 622–637. New York: Oxford University Press.
Bradley, Arthur, and Andrew Tate. 2010. The New Atheist Novel: Fiction, Philosophy and Polemic after 9/11. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.
Bullivant, Stephen. 2010. The New Atheism and Sociology: Why Here? Why Now? What Next? In Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal, ed. Amarnath Amarasingam, 109–124. Leiden: Brill.
Bullivant, Stephen, and Michael Ruse, eds. 2013. The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. New York: Oxford University Press.
Cotter, Christopher R. 2011. Consciousness Raising: The Critique, Agenda, and Inherent Precariousness of Contemporary Anglophone Atheism. International Journal for the Study of New Religions 2 (1): 77–103.
Cragun, Ryan T. 2015. Who Are the ‘New Atheists’? In Atheist Identities – Spaces and Social Contexts, ed. Lori G. Beaman and Steven Tomlins, 195–211. Dordrecht: Springer.
Cragun, Ryan T., Joseph H. Hammer, and Jesse M. Smith. 2013. North America. In The Oxford Handbook of Atheism, ed. Stephen Bullivant and Michael Ruse, 601–621. New York: Oxford University Press.
Dawkins, Richard. 2007. The God Delusion. London: Black Swan.
de Botton, Alain. 2012. Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. London: Hamish Hamilton.
Dennett, Daniel C. 2007. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. London: Penguin.
Dueck, R. 2011. Angry at the God Who Isn’t There: The New Atheism as Theodicy. Direction 40 (1): 3–16.
Eller, Jack David. 2010. Atheism and Secularity in the Arab World. In Atheism and Secularity – Volume 2: Global Expressions, ed. Phil Zuckerman, 113–137. Santa Barbara: Praeger.
Falconi, Ryan C. 2010. Is God a Hypothesis? The New Atheism, Contemporary Philosophy of Religion, and Philosophical Confusion. In Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal, ed. Amarnath Amarasingam, 203–224. Leiden: Brill.
Fergusson, David. 2009. Faith and Its Critics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Feser, Edward. 2013. The New Atheists and the Cosmological Argument. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 37 (1): 154–177. doi:10.1111/misp.12000.
Fraser, Liam Jerrold. 2015. The Secret Sympathy: New Atheism, Protestant Fundamentalism, and Evolution. Open Theology 1 (1): 445–454. doi:10.1515/opth-2015-0027.
Fuller, Steve. 2010. What Has Atheism Ever Done for Science? In Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal, ed. Amarnath Amarasingam, 57–77. Leiden: Brill.
Graffin, Greg, and Steve Olson. 2010. Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God. New York: HarperCollins.
Hahn, Scott, and Benjamin Wiker. 2008. Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God. Steubenville: Emmaus Road Publishing.
Harris, Sam. 2006. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason. London: The Free Press.
———. 2007. Letter to a Christian Nation: A Challenge to Faith. London: Bantam Press.
Haught, John F. 2008. God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.
Hedges, Chris. 2008. I Don’t Believe in Atheists. Salon, 13 March. http://www.salon.com/2008/03/13/chris_hedges/. Accessed 1 Apr 2016.
Hirsi Ali, Ayaan. 2008a. Infidel: My Life. London: Simon & Schuster.
———. 2008b. The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Hitchens, Christopher. 2008. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. London: Atlantic Books.
Hubble, Cale. 2014. The Sacred Things of Contemporary Anglophone Atheism: Celebrities, Books and Values. International Journal for the Study of New Religions 4 (1): 81–112.
Hyman, Gavin. 2012. Dialectics or Politics? Atheism and the Return to Religion. Approaching Religion 2 (1): 66–74.
Johnstone-Louis, Mary. 2012. No Gods. No Masters?: The ‘New Atheist’ Movement and the Commercialization of Unbelief. In Consumption and Spirituality, ed. Diego Rinallo, Linda Scott, and Pauline Maclaren, 54–68. London: Routledge.
Kettell, Steven. 2013. Faithless: The Politics of New Atheism. Secularism and Nonreligion 2: 61–72. doi:10.5334/snr.al.
Knott, Kim, Elizabeth Poole, and Teemu Taira. 2013. Media Portrayals of Religion and the Secular Sacred: Representation and Change. Farnham: Ashgate.
LeDrew, Stephen. 2015. Atheism Versus Humanism: Ideological Tensions and Identity Dynamics. In Atheist Identities – Spaces and Social Contexts, ed. Lori G. Beaman and Steven Tomlins, 53–68. Dordrecht: Springer.
Lee, Lois. 2013. Western Europe. In The Oxford Handbook of Atheism, ed. Stephen Bullivant and Michael Ruse, 587–600. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lennox, John C. 2011. Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target. Oxford: Lion Books.
Liang, Tong. 2010. Atheism and Secularity in China. In Atheism and Secularity – Volume 2: Global Expressions, ed. Phil Zuckerman, 197–221. Santa Barbara: Praeger.
Lüchau, Peter. 2010. Atheism and Secularity: The Scandinavian Paradox. In Atheism and Secularity – Volume 2: Global Expressions, ed. Phil Zuckerman, 177–196. Santa Barbara: Praeger.
Mahlamäki, Tiina. 2012. Religion and Atheism from a Gender Perspective. Approaching Religion 2 (1): 58–65.
Manning, Christel J. 2015. Losing Our Religion: How Unaffiliated Parents Are Raising Their Children. New York: NYU Press.
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Before leaving you in the capable hands of our contributors, we would like to express our gratitude to a number of people without whom this project would not have been possible. Our thanks go out to Sarah Hitchen at Lancaster University for organizing the (New) Atheism, Scientism and Open-Mindedness conference that sparked off the conversation that culminated in this volume. To the contributors themselves, we are most grateful for their contributions and patience in seeing this project come to fruition. Thanks also to Stephen Bullivant for writing his important and helpfully kudos-enhancing Foreword. This publication would not have been possible without the dedicated and patient work of the editorial team at Springer, to whom we express our sincere appreciation. Words cannot express the debt we owe to Carole Cusack for some much needed ‘Caroleing’ at various stages in the process. And Cotter and Quadrio have been blown away by the support and input—both academic and collegial—from Jonathan Tuckett, who joined the project relatively late in the day and brought both the fresh perspective and renewed vitality it clearly needed.
Chris Cotter would like to thank his doctoral supervisor, Kim Knott, for her continued indulgence and support of his extra-curricular publications, and his former supervisor and BASR colleague, Steven Sutcliffe, for nurturing his initial academic interest in ‘New Atheism.’ Gratitude also goes out to the directors, web team, and members of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network for helping to sustain this interest, to Bob and Sally Cotter, and, of course, to Lindsey … but she knows that’s a gibbon.
Philip Quadrio thanks Carrol, Raeginn and Darian for their constant support and Carolyn and Silvio for vital familial support. Also, on the more practical front, he thanks Paris Mawby for his regular assistance, Carole Cusack for her advice in the project as a whole, and Don Barrett for his fascinating and eloquent views on Australian cricket. Finally, Bob and Barbara Lions whose home he inhabited during the final months of assembling the manuscript, without this generous assistance things would have been much more complicated.
Jonathan Tuckett would like to thank Carole for her confidence in his ‘Tucketting’ skills. To Christopher and Philip for involving him in the project and putting up with said ‘Tucketting’.
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Cotter, C.R., Quadrio, P.A., Tuckett, J. (2017). Introduction. In: Cotter, C., Quadrio, P., Tuckett, J. (eds) New Atheism: Critical Perspectives and Contemporary Debates. Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures, vol 21. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-54964-4_1
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