12 September 2018, The Tablet

The New Theism

Science and religion

The New Theism

Richard Dawkins


Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett: they called themselves the Four Horsemen of Atheism. Staunch allies against God, they proclaimed themselves champions of Reason and Science. A common denominator was the slogan “religion poisons everything.”

The so-called New Atheism movement began in 2004 with the publication of The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris, an American neuroscientist and it culminated in 2007 with the late Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great. In between came The God Delusion by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and Breaking the Spell by the philosopher Daniel Dennett. A decade on from the high point of the Four Horsemen’s fame and notoriety, it is an apt point to review the long-term impact of the New Atheism.

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