Western Atheism by James Thrower

Many people now find the old creeds unconvincing, and are increasingly turning to naturalistic explanations of their world. At significant moments in their lives, such as weddings and funeral services, many opt for a humanist ceremony (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/increasingly-popular-humanist-weddings-to-overtake-church-of-scotland-ceremonies-within-two-years-8581924.html). What, then, of the intellectual underpinnings of this shift in understanding?

James Thrower’s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Thrower) concise account of atheism examines the thinkers and schools of the naturalistic approach beginning with Greece, Rome, and Israel. He relates how the intellectual status of unbelief rose significantly in Western Europe as a result of the clash in the Middle Ages between institutional dogma and the emerging but still limited influence of reason. There follows an account of the Renaissance and the establishment of the physical sciences.

This short history sets out the key issues separating the theist from the atheist, shedding light on world events and the inconsistencies inherent in supernaturalism and theism. Thrower discusses atheism both as a reaction to belief and as a separate and consistent form of belief. He places humans in a world devoid of gods where reason, science, and the continuing search for knowledge flourish. James Thrower was Professor of the History of Religions at King’s College, University of Aberdeen.

Check if this useful summary of Western atheism is in stock at your local library by consulting the online catalogue at https://www.sllclibrary.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/BSEARCH

157 pages in Prometheus Books

First published 1999

ISBN  978-1573927567

Scroll to Top