Alister McGrath with Joanna Collicutt McGrath
This book will be warmly received by those looking for a reliable assessment of The God Delusion and the many questions it raises - including, above all, the relevance of faith and the quest for meaning.
Joanna Collicutt McGrath studied experimental psychology at Oxford, then went on to specialize for some years in clinical neuropsychology, and subsequently studied Christian theology, specializing in biblical studies. Currently Lecturer in the Pschologv of Religion at Heythrop College, University of London, she has been involved in the whole of this work, but has made a particular contribution to those sections dealing with biblical studies, and the relationship of religion with psychology and the neurosciences. Her book, Meeting Jesus: Human Responses to a Yearning God co-written with Jeremy Duff, was published by SPCK in 2006.
Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University
The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist, and the McGraths show why.
Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project
'Addressing the conclusions of The God Delusion point by point with the devastating insight of a molecular biologist turned theologian, Alister McGrath dismantles the argument that science should lead to atheism, and demonstrates instead that Dawkins has abandoned his much-cherished rationality to embrace an embittered manifesto of dogmatic atheist fundamentalism.'
Owen Gingerich, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University
'Richard Dawkins' utopian vision of a world without religion is here deftly punctured by McGrath's
informed discourse. His fellow Oxonian clearly demonstrates the gaps, inconsistencies, and surprising lack of depth
in Dawkins' arguments'
Book Review by Douglas Lancashire
In this modestly sized (78 pages) examination of Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion, Alister McGrath has made an important, and timely, contribution to the debate on the role of reason in philosophical, theological and scientific circles in the parts played by each of these disciplines in the exposition of the significance of life and creation as experienced by man. The issue was highlighted by Pope Benedict XVI in Cologne in 2005 in an address to seminarians when he insisted ‘that the study of Scripture and of the faith and life of the Church “must be linked with the questions prompted by our reason.”’.
Fr. Francis Selman, in his article Why Philosophy in the Easter 2007 issue of the Allen Hall publication The Mulberry also reminds us that John Paul II asserted that, among other things, ‘philosophy shows us that it is possible to know things with certainty and unless we can do this it is not possible for anyone to commit himself wholly to Christ.’
The word ‘modest’ may also be applied to the manner in which Alister McGrath deals with Richard Dawkins arguments, through which Dawkins seeks to dismiss all attempts to argue the case for the existence of God. He willingly accepts Dawkins’ positions where he believes them to be justified, and readily acknowledges his important contributions to his own fields of research, but he does not hesitate to point out those areas where he believes Dawkins to be wrong. On page 15, for example, he writes, ‘To avoid misunderstanding, let’s be quite clear that suggesting that science may have its limits is in no way a criticism or defamation of the scientific method. Dawkins does, I have to say with regret, tend to portray anyone raising questions about the scope of the sciences as a science-hating idiot.’
McGrath’s book is, I believe, capable of being an important contribution to the understanding of anyone who may be puzzling over the issues raised in Dawkins’ book, and who may be looking for clarity on the whole so-called science versus religion debate.
As a one-time atheist, Professor McGrath is in a unique position to help others in their search for a firmer foothold on which to base their lives,
Copyright © Douglas Lancashire 2007