In this provocative book one of the most brilliant scholars of religion today dismantles distorted religious "histories" offered up by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and other contemporary critics of religion and advocates of atheism. David Bentley Hart provides a bold correction of the New Atheists's misrepresentations of the Christian past, countering their polemics with a brilliant account of Christianity and its message of human charity as the most revolutionary movement in all of Western history.
Hart outlines how Christianity transformed the ancient world in ways we may have forgotten: bringing liberation from fatalism, conferring great dignity on human beings, subverting the cruelest aspects of pagan society, and elevating charity above all virtues. He then argues that what we term the "Age of Reason" was in fact the beginning of the eclipse of reason's authority as a cultural value. Hart closes the book in the present, delineating the ominous consequences of the decline of Christendom in a culture that is built upon its moral and spiritual values.
©2009 David Bentley Hart (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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"A Conversion Experience."
This book has done much to reset 50 years of misinformation that I have had about Christianity. Contrary to some reviewers, I think the editor was right to add "Atheist Delusions" onto the rest of the title. Having only the "Christian Revolution" part would have sounded like just another mundane book written for Christians. The author does make the case for why it was a revolution, but he also got into the fight against the people who use "The God Delusion" to make their point.
And I'm glad he was a bit snarky at times. The pretensions of modernity need a take-down. And they got it in this book.
I listened to this book three times. You simply can't get it once through. The narrator sounded robotic at first but his pace and enunciation were appropriate to the complexity of content.
A gripe on audio book design: Why can't Audible make its chapters match the book chapters?
This is a confusing UI issue that would be easy to fix.
"Great material, dreadful narration"
The material alone makes this worth the listen, which is good because the narration is dreadfully monotonous. Hart brings his characteristic wit and slightly pretentious tone to examine what makes western culture what it is. He argues for more historical and philosophical literacy so that we can at least acknowledge the importance of Christianity on our culture and ourselves, whether or not we believe it.
I highly recommend it, but the narration is just so bad. Maybe buy the actual book and read it if that's an option for you.
absolutely wonderful and engaging. a must read for any intellectual person of faith (I would highly recommend this as a graduate student)
"Every thinking person needs to read this"
If you have read the likes of Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, you owe it to yourself (and the world) to also read Atheist Delusions. In it, Bentley Hart uses a wide-ranging review of western church (and other) history to reveal the fundamental shallowness of the Dawkins, Dennett crew. He is, at the same time, critical of the many abuses that have occurred in the name of Christianity and the organized church, but also debunks the arguments of the angry atheists. At the same time, he opens the question of what will come of our society as we slowly devolve away from the Christian ideals that have shaped the west into a society that cares for the poor, the weak, and the outcast.
The narrator is TERRIBLE!! However, if you listen at 1.5 speed, then it isn't so bad.
"Unfortunate Title for a Great Book"
DB Hart's writing is superb as per usual in this description of the cultural revolution of Christianity in the ancient world and the counter-revolution of modernity a millennia and a half later. The context of this cultural/historical essay, as the book's subtitle suggests, is in answer to the "fashionable" band of new atheists like Dawkins and Hitchens who employ an uninformed and wildly distorted picture of Christianity and its history in their arguments. The title, therefore, misses the mark in communicating what this book is; it is not a theological, philosophical, or metaphysical apologia for the Faith.
The narrator is utterly intolerable unless you listen at 1.25x at least. He also pronounces some things weird. But overall it's terrific.
This was a more historical look at Christianity and other beliefs than what I was anticipating. I thought this would be a more logical debunking of the new atheist but it took a long time to get the point across.
Such provocative and timely subject matter. Blows the whistle on the inconsistencies and injustices of our society.
"Very indepth overview of Christian History"
Yea the title may be a little misleading. This is really a great Christian History book. I found it hard to make it through the book there was so much about history. I was expecting a book more about Atheist misconceptions.
Not at all, the book was very well done and had great narration just not what I expected.
Yes more from a historical perspective than present day.
No sorry but not relevant for this type of work.
Great work but just not what I was expecting from the summary.
"Very serious fair scholarship, and I'm not "religi"
Serious, well argued. "I'm religious I just don't believe in rituals or a specific God." No you're not. Also, beware evangelicals and obviously atheists. Read this, it debunks so many modern prejudices, while showing how important rituals and transcendence are in the history of human conscience. I'M SCARED FOR US! I wish I was fully Christian! Too late.
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