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Reading Richard Dawkins

A Theological Dialogue with New Atheism

By Gary Keogh

Publication Year: 2014

Theological reactions to the rise of the new atheist movement have largely been critically hostile or defensively deployed apologetics to shore up the faith against attack. Gary Keogh contends that focusing on scholarly material that is inherently agreeable to theology will not suffice in the context of modern academia. Theology needs to test its boundaries and venture into dialogue with those with antithetical positions. Engaging Richard Dawkins, as the embodiment of such a position, illustrates how such dialogue may offer new perspectives on classical theological problems, such as the relationship of science and religion, the existence of God, creation, natural suffering and theodicy. Keogh demonstrates how a dialogical paradigm may take shape, rather than merely discussing it as a theoretical framework. A dialogue between such opposing hermeneutics may provide a new paradigm of theological scholarship—one which is up to the task of facing its critics in the public and pluralistic context of modern academia.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. 1-4

In modern times, contemporary academia is acquiring an increasingly public character. Technological advancements over the last number of years have led to an unprecedented accessibility of knowledge. As such, we can no longer be content with conceptual partisans that keep academic disciplines separate...

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A Distinct Methodological Framework

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pp. 5-40

This chapter will present the methodological foundation of this book. The aim of this book is to demonstrate how engaging in a dialogical relationship with a contrary ideology can be beneficial to theology. It will argue that such a dialogue has become a theological necessity in twenty-first-century...

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Encountering Evolution

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pp. 41-92

In order to pursue the objectives of this project (a dialogue with Dawkins) we must, as an essential prerequisite, understand the scientific foundation from which Dawkins develops his worldview. As stated in the previous chapter, Dawkins is being held as a representative of an interpretation of evolutionary...

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Beyond Biology

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pp. 93-144

The German term ‘weltanschauung’, meaning a conceptual understanding of the world from a particular perspective, aptly describes what this chapter will establish: a philosophy extrapolated from the evolutionary science presented in Chapter Two. In our review of Dawkins’ scientific position, we discovered that...

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pp. 145-172

The previous two chapters provided the scientific and philosophical conceptual infrastructure of Dawkins’ worldview (Chapters Two and Three respectively). This worldview understands every facet of life, from its primordial origins through to the complexities of human consciousness, behavior, and cultural...

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Evil, Evolution, and God

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pp. 173-238

In Chapters Two and Three, we began our dialogue with Dawkins by exploring his worldview. These chapters enabled us to begin to explore avenues where Dawkins’ scientific hermeneutic could be utilized by the theologian. In the last chapter, we took his outlook on evolution and particularly his meme...

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pp. 239-244

The intention of this book is to advocate a paradigm of theological dialogue that seeks to respond to theology’s most virulent critics. Without engaging in a cheap search for reference, it was argued that the current context of multiculturalism and the public character of religious antagonists force theology...


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pp. 245-246


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pp. 247-268


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pp. 269-272

Back Cover

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p. BC-BC

E-ISBN-13: 9781451479782
E-ISBN-10: 1451479786
Print-ISBN-13: 9781451472042
Print-ISBN-10: 1451472048

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2014