The limits of enchantment
The Joy of Secularism: 11 Essays for How We Live Now
edited by George Levine
Princeton University Press (Footprint Books), $46.95 hb, 272 pp, 9780691149103
The war of religion currently being fought with fusillades of paperbacks and feuilletons has taken a new turn. It started with an ambuscade by the ‘new’ atheists – also known as ‘militant’ or ‘Darwinian’ atheists – Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the ubiquitous Christopher Hitchens (may he remain so). They were quickly joined by many sympathisers sharing the belief that peace, secularism, and rationality are under assault, not only from religious extremists, but also from the root religious ideas and attitudes that are presumed to nourish them.