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WOF 409: The Rise and Fall of the New Atheism

Friends, the New Atheism movement rose quickly in the early 2000s, led by vicious critics of religion such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. What made their polemics so popular and effective? And how did the New Atheist movement decline and fade almost as quickly over the past few years?

That’s what Brandon Vogt and I discuss on today’s “Word on Fire Show” episode, with the help of an excellent new book by Justin Brierley titled The Surprising Rebirth of Belief In God: Why New Atheism Grew Old and Secular Thinkers Are Considering Christianity Again.

A listener asks, does the Catholic Church teach that the Holy Spirit has a gender?

00:00 | Intro
00:50 | Bishop Barron’s visit to Harvard University
02:55 | Justin Brierley – The Surprising Rebirth of Belief In God
03:32 | What is the New Atheism?
07:17 | What led to the rise of the New Atheism?
10:22 | Why the New Atheism appealed to young people
12:46 | How the New Atheism began to unravel
15:43 | How the New Atheism revitalized Christian apologetics
17:19 | The New Atheism’s failure to provide a satisfying alternative to religion
21:50 | New questions being asked by seekers and skeptics
24:21 | Listener question
26:49 | New book – Know Thyself: Catholic Classical Education and the Discovery of Self

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