Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Third Review for The Threat to Reason

Socialist Review has just published an extremely interesting and broadly positive review of The Threat to Reason:

Although different in emphasis, books like Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion, Sam Hall's Letter to a Christian Nation, and Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great are all loitering with intent on the same street corner, waiting to club passing believers insensible with the baseball bat of reason. It seems that two important Enlightenment virtues these authors have not absorbed are those of tolerance and respect for the views of others.

But, whatever other disagreements we may have with these authors, surely they are right to attack the obscurantism and irrationality of religious belief? In a commendably short and well argued book, Dan Hind argues that they are not. In fact, as Hind convincingly shows, they are either, at best, staging an unconscious diversion from the real threats to the Enlightenment tradition or, at worst, providing ideological cover for imperial politics. It is no accident that under the cover of attacks on religion in general the greatest bile is invariably reserved for Islam.

The reviewer, Neil Davidson, doesn't go along with everything I have to say, as you might expect. But I can understand his reservations; I am generally quiet about class relations in the book, and I don't advocate a straightforwardly Marxist position when I try to offer an revised idea of what it would to be enlightened. You can read the full review here.

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War, Peace, and Commerce in the Ideology of Tom Paine
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Blogger Dan Hind said...

Thanks Matt,

I look forward to taking a look at this.

Best wishes,

Dan

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