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Voices of Unbelief: Documents from Atheists and Agnostics
     

Voices of Unbelief: Documents from Atheists and Agnostics

by Dale McGowan Ph.D.
 

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This book spotlights individual expressions of atheist, agnostic, and secular humanist opinion—both public and private—to shed light on the phenomenon of religious disbelief throughout history and across cultures.

• Documents include book and diary excerpts, letters, blogs, and video and radio scripts, bringing historical settings and individual

Overview

This book spotlights individual expressions of atheist, agnostic, and secular humanist opinion—both public and private—to shed light on the phenomenon of religious disbelief throughout history and across cultures.

• Documents include book and diary excerpts, letters, blogs, and video and radio scripts, bringing historical settings and individual lives into focus

• A chronology helps place the writings and writers in history and in relation to each other

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Written for an advanced high school or introductory college course, this encyclopedia is a welcome primer on the subject. . . . McGowan allows the documents in this reference work to speak for themselves (no pun intended). High school and academic libraries with a focus on religious studies will want to add this invaluable resource to their collections." - ARBA

"McGowan, a noted humanist scholar, has succeeded admirably in packaging a reader on this controversial topic for high school and college students." - Choice

"Strengths of this text are the many resources that will help readers engage with and understand the material, and the array of perspectives from different eras, regions, cultures, and social groups. Overall, a helpful primer on the many different perspectives on a complex subject." - Library Journal

Library Journal
The intention of this text is to provide a wide array of perspectives on religious disbelief; it offers material from often unheard voices, particularly those of women, non-Europeans, and those outside the privileged classes. The resulting comprehensive and approachable guide opens with discussions of the differences between belief and unbelief, what atheism is as well as "where it is," agnosticism, and why certain accounts of belief and disbelief survive above others. Following the introduction is a brief chronology of the history of religious unbelief, spanning from the 11th century BCE to 2010. The main body of the book consists of a series of essays, speeches, and other writings on religious unbelief arranged in presentations on "The Ancient World, "The 'Middle Ages' in Four Cultures," "The Enlightenment," "The 19th Century," and "The 20th Century." The text also has two sections entitled "The Humorists" and "Contemporary Voices." The one- to six-page entries each begin with a short introduction, which contains some biographical information about the writer; offer "Keep in Mind as you Read" context for the writings and the writers; and end with questions for discussion and critical thinking, "topics and activities to consider," and further-reading suggestions. Definitions of key terms are scattered throughout the entries. VERDICT Strengths of this text are the many resources that will help readers engage with and understand the material, and the array of perspectives from different eras (though there are not as many from earlier times, perhaps because of availability), regions, cultures, and social groups. Overall, a helpful primer on the many different perspectives on a complex subject.—Julie Seifert, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781598849783
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/31/2012
Series:
Voices of an Era Series
Pages:
278
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Dale McGowan is a writer, educator, and executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief, a humanist charitable foundation.

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