Arguments between those who hold religious beliefs and those who do not have been at fever pitch. They have also reached an impasse, with equally entrenched views held by believer and atheist - and even agnostic - alike. This collection is one of the first books to move beyond this deadlock. Specially commissioned chapters address major areas that cut across the debate between the two sides: the origin of knowledge, objectivity and meaning; moral values and the nature of the human person and the good life; and the challenge of how to promote honest and fruitful dialogue in the light of the wide diversity of beliefs, religious and otherwise. Under these broad headings leading figures in the field examine and reflect upon:
Secular and religious humanism
The idea of the sacred
The vexed issue of science in both religious and secular accounts of knowledge
Spirituality for the godless
Non-western perspectives on the atheism/theism debate.
A key feature of the collection is a dialogue between Raymond Tallis and Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury. Religion and Atheism: Beyond the Divide will interest anyone who is concerned about the clash between the religious and the secular and how to move beyond it, as well as students of ethics, philosophy of religion and religious studies.
Anthony Carroll is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Theology at Heythrop College, University of London, UK. His publications include Protestant Modernity: Weber, Secularization, and Protestantism (2007), and he is an Anglican priest. Richard Norman is Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Kent, UK. His publications include On Humanism (2nd edition 2012), and he is a founder-member of the Humanist Philosophers' Group, and a Patron of the British Humanist Association.
Preface Brian Pearce Part 1: A Dialogue 1. Science, stories, and the self Raymond Tallis and Rowan Williams Part 2: Knowledge and language 2. Signifying nothing: how the religious and non-religious can speak the same language Nick Spencer 3. The myth of mythos Julian Baggini 4. Why do religious believers and non-believers see one another as irrational? Stephen Law 5. Atheism and history Jonathan Ree 6. Atheism and naturalism Fiona Ellis 7. The compatibility of science and religion? Fern Elsdon-Baker Part 3: Ethics and values 8. Beyond theism and atheism: the search for truth Anthony Carroll 9. Ethics and values: how much common ground? Richard Norman 10. Faith, ethics and values Robin Gill 11. The spiritual and the sacred: prospects for convergence between religious and non-religious outlooks John Cottingham 12. Matters of life and death Anna Strham 13. Our proud and angry dust: secular and religious continuities Michael McGhee Part 4: Diversity and dialogue 14. Polar opposites? Diversity and dialogue among the Religious and Nonreligious Lois Lee 15. Belonging without believing: religion, atheism and Islam today Dilwar Hussain 16. The ocean of being and the web of becomings: the pilgrim's progress on Indic horizons Ankur Barua 17. Religiosity and secularity in Europe Simon Glendinning 18. Engagement between religious and non-religious in a plural society Andrew Copson 19. Siblings under the skin: Charles Taylor on religious believers and non-believers in A Secular Age Ruth Abbey 20. Filling the space between: what can we learn from Plato? Angie Hobbs Part 5: Conclusion 21. Continuing the dialogue Anthony Carroll and Richard Norman. Index