New book by Dr Stuart McAnulla: The Politics of New Atheism

We are pleased to announce that Stuart McAnulla, Associate Professor in Politics at the University of Leeds, and member of the CRPL, has just published a new book. Entitled The Politics of New Atheism, he co-authored the book together with Steven Kettell from the University of Warwick, and Marcus Schulzke from the University of York.

‘New atheism’ is best known as a literary and media phenomenon which has resulted in the widespread discussion of the anti-religious arguments of authors such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, yet it also has strongly political dimensions. The Politics of New Atheism analyses the political aspects of new atheism and offers an analysis that is informed by insights from political science and political theory.

The Politics of New Atheism locates new atheism within a diverse history of politically-oriented atheisms. It is argued that the new atheist movement itself contains a considerable variety of political viewpoints, despite coalescing around forms of secularist campaigning and identity politics. New atheist views on monotheism, public life, morality and religious violence are examined to highlight both limitations and strengths in such perspectives. Conservative, feminist and Marxist responses to new atheism are also evaluated within this critical analysis.

The book rejects claims that new atheism is itself a form of fundamentalism and argues that the issues it grapples with often reflect wider dilemmas in liberal-left thought which have ongoing relevance in the era of Trump and Brexit. It will be of great interest to researchers and scholars in the fields of new atheism, political atheism, secularism, non-religion, and secular-religious tensions.

Stuart McAnulla, Steven Kettell and Marcus Schulzke, The Politics of New Atheism, Abingdon and New York: Routledge 2019.

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