In Defence of Atheism: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism and Islam

In Defence of Atheism: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism and Islam


By (author) Michel Onfray, Translated by Jeremy Leggatt

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  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 16mm | 184g
  • Publication date: 17 April 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1852429933
  • ISBN 13: 9781852429935
  • Sales rank: 122,969

Product description

In the twenty-first century, religion is making a comeback, bringing in its wake extremism of all kinds. From Christian anti-abortion campaigns to suicide bombers claiming the righteousness of Islam, we are witnessing a resurgence of fundamentalism. Michel Onfray's response to the threat of a post-modern theocracy is to lay down the principles of an authentic atheism: exposing the fiction that is God, he proposes instead a new philosophy of reason that celebrates life and humanity."In Defence of Atheism" demonstrates that organised religion is motivated by worldly, historical and political power; that the three dominant monotheisms - Christianity, Islam and Judaism - exhibit the same hatred of women, reason, the body, the passions; that religion denies life and glorifies death. Onfray exposes some uncomfortable truths: Judaism invented the extermination of a people; Jesus never existed historically; Christianity was enforced with extreme violence by Constantine; Islam is anti-Semitic, misogynist, warlike and incompatible with the values of a modern democracy.

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Author information

Michel Onfray was born in 1959 in the village of Argentan near Caen where he still lives. He taught philosophy for 20 years, before resigning from the state education sector and in 2002 setting up the People's University in Caen. His twenty books map out a theory of hedonism: some celebrate the senses - smell, taste and the visual; others formulate a contemporary atheist ethics. He is currently at work on a six-volume alternative history of philosophy of which the first four volumes have been published in French.

Review quote

[A] powerful attack on organised religion Esquire Superior to anything English-speaking writers have published on the subject. -- John Gray Guardian Like an ice-cold blast from a high-pressure hose, Michel Onfray, France's Richard Dawkins, will cleanse your brain of lingering orthodox cobwebs whether you like it or not. So simple is the language, so innocently sincere his conviction, that this precise and often very funny deconstruction of Christianity, Judaism and Islam should delight readers on all sides of the religious divide. Sunday Express A wonderful, invigorating blast of sanity delivered against the fog of high-toned mumbo-jumbo we have to endure everywhere today. -- William Boyd TLS Books of the Year