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God Has Died Before

I only just now realized that today the Guardian published a piece I did for them on the “death of God” theological controversy in the 1960s. It is geared, especially, as a reflection on the New Atheist debates that have been going on lately:

Unlike some of the prominent atheists of today, these thinkers knew intimately the theology they were attacking. Life after God, they believed, could not move forward without understanding the debt it owed to the religious culture that had gone before. Consequently the movement went far beyond the simplistic, scientistic concept of God common to both contemporary atheists and many of their critics: a cartoonish hypothesis, some kind of all-powerful alien. Altizer spoke of the God of direct experience; van Buren, the God conjured in language; and Cox, the God that arises in the life of societies. These are incisive approaches that, lately, have too often been forgotten in exchange for the caricature.

Having lived my life between belief and disbelief, it is a phenomenon that has long fascinated me. And there’s another short piece on the same topic soon to comeā€¦

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