For a generation now, public debate has been corroded by a shrill, narrow derision of religion in the name of an often vaguely understood „science“. John Gray’s stimulating and enjoyable book, Seven Types of Atheism, describes the complex, dynamic world of older atheisms, a tradition that is, he writes, in many ways intertwined with and as rich as religion itself.
When you explore older atheisms, you will find that some of your firmest convictions – secular or religious – are highly questionable. If this prospect disturbs you, what you are looking for may be freedom from thinking. But if you are ready to leave behind the needs and hopes that many atheists have carried over from monotheism, you may find that a burden has been lifted from you. Some older atheisms are oppressive and claustrophobic, like much of atheism at the present time. Others can be refreshing and liberating for anyone who wants a new perspective on the world. Paradoxically, some of the most radical forms of atheism may in the end be not so different from some mystical varieties of religion.
Contemporary atheism is a continuation of monotheism by other means. Hence the unending succession of God-surrogates, such as humanity and science, technology and the all-too-human visions of transhumanism. But there is no need for panic or despair. Belief and unbelief are poses the mind adopts in the face of an unimaginable
reality. A godless world is as mysterious as one suffused with divinity, and the difference between the two may be less than you think.
* * *
John Gray (South Shields, 1948) is an English political philosopher with interests in analytic philosophy and the history of ideas. He has written several influential books, including Seven Types of Atheism (2018.), The Silence of Animals (2013.), The Immortalization Commission (2011.), Black Mass. Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia (2007.), i Straw Dogs. Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals (2002.). Gray contributes regularly to The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement and the New Statesman, where he is the lead book reviewer. He formerly held posts as a professor of politics at the University of Oxford, served as a visiting professor at Harvard and Yale University. He was Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics and Political Science until his retirement from academic life in early 2008.
- ISBN: 978-953-8075-72-8
- Dimensions: 128x200 mm
- Number of pages: 244
- Cover: paperback
- Year of the edition: 2020
- Original title: Seven Types of Atheism
- Original language: English
- Translation: Krešimir Petković
Gray is characterized by a distinct synthetics, that is, the ability to summarize and convey the basic thoughts of great thinkers, especially the European and American philosophical and political traditions, but also those less known. It is a very interesting scientific study of different types of atheism, in which Gray leads us through a rich tradition of atheist thought closely linked to the modern and „Enlightenment project“.
Doc. dr. sc. Hrvoje Cvijanović
Gray is generally insightful, sometimes brilliant, and therefore worth reading. From the first sentence, Gray's book is a stimulating work of mature erudition, broad reach, and a high level of intertextuality that connects knowledge of Western and Eastern thought traditions, philosophy, religion, history, political science and literature in the pursuit of meaning and its often devastating political consequences.
Prof. dr. sc. Krešimir Petković
The discussion of the seven types of atheism, or the seven types of atheists, is based on decades of author's experience in the subject, as well as the experience of world's great philosophers, theologists, sociologists of religion and psychologists. The author of this valuable book wants to offer the modern man the answers to many uniform interpretations of the phenomena of religion and atheism so far.
Prof. dr. sc. Ivan Markešić
As a paradoxical mystical skeptic, Gray questions the boundaries between theism and atheism, science and religion, and religion and politics. Through his insightful pessimism, he indirectly urges us to pursue the fundamental task of liberal democracy - questioning and shaping our institutions. Gray shows exceptional ability to summarize his exegesis into penetrating and simple messages.
Prof. dr. sc. Zoran Kurelić