"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

David Bentley Hart on Atheist Delusions

Last year Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies ran a very positive review of David Bentley Hart's most recent book, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies (Yale UP, 2010), 272pp.

Hart is a very interesting figure, and not always the easiest to read. His first major book, The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth is an extremely demanding tome but pays rich dividends. We reviewed that also in Logos a number of years ago. 

More recently, as I noted before, he has written what I regard as one of the most important essays on ecumenism to come from the pen of an Orthodox theologian in quite some time, an essay that appeared in  Ecumenism Today. That, together with the most recent news from England, is likely to brand him as persona non grata in the eyes of some "fundamentalist" Orthodox who regard ecumenism as the "pan-heresy," but there you go.

Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies has just won the Michael Ramsey Prize awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Williams, himself a very capable scholar of the Christian East, notes of Hart's book and the author that he is:
a theologian of exceptional quality - but also a brilliant stylist. This book takes no prisoners in its response to fashionable criticisms of Christianity. But what makes it more than just another contribution to controversy is the way he shows how the most treasured principles and values of compassionate humanism are rooted in the detail of Christian doctrine. I am pleased that we have identified a prize winning book that is so distinctive in its voice. It is never bland. It will irritate some, but it will also challenge and inspire readers inside and outside the church. No one could pretend after reading this that Christian theology was lacking in intellectual and imaginative force or in relevance to the contemporary world.
Read the rest of the story here

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