He begins in the preface by remarking that the Dawkins brigade "suggest a view of religion which, if taken seriously, would also evacuate a number of other human systems of meaning" and the do not "attend to the general question of how systems of meaning, or 'world-views' work". He emphasises that D. "is concerned as a writer to show what belief and unbelief are like rather than either to conclude an argument or to take refuge in the unfathomables of subjectivity". D. apparently "regared, or said he regarded, Book 6 of Karamazov as the reply to Ivan's protests; but some have seen the real reply as Ch 9 of Book 11, 'The Devil, Ivan's Nightmare'".
Interestingly The Guardian seems to be turning against Dawkins & co - and insofar as this is a bellweather of progressive opinion it is an excellent thing. I note for example:
- Mark Vernon talks about "a good day for God at Hay" focusing on Rowan's book and talk - there is also a link to a video.
- Charlotte Allen denounces atheists (esp Dawkins & Hitchens) in a piece repbulished from the LA Times which has attracted masses of comments.
- John Harris praises Desmond Tutu and invites "Dawkinsites and Hitchenistas, militant atheists and unrelenting secularists" to spend an hour and a bit with Tutu for "a sobering lesson in the fact that religion can be a thoroughly progressive force and a source of hope in otherwise desperate circumstances"