Adam, I just read the interview. Of course, it’s just an interview, and all that, but it didn’t strike me as very thought provoking. I thought it would have been. Do you think it sheds much light on your recent work? (I’m sorry that I haven’t been keeping up with that much.)
I can see why you might not find it satisfying, Craig. First of all, it was one of the first interviews I’ve ever done, so I’m sure my performance wasn’t as good as it could’ve been (I feel like I sound rambly in the transcript…). But it was also for a broader-readership website, meaning I didn’t go into as much depth as I could have with actual theologians — for instance, I was writing to an audience where I needed to spend time describing what atonement even was.
If you want something with a little more depth, short of reading the book, you could check out the recent book event we did here (see in the “Book Event” page linked at the top).
Just was pleasantly directed here through the RD interview (names like Agamben, Kearney, and Zizek are like magnets to me). While I look around, any suggestions for a first reading of some of your research? (Note: this is probably an easy way to sell me on your new book.)
From your interview: Dawkins’ and Hitchens’ and Dennett’s books are a kind of simplistic critique of religion that’s basically not going to change anyone’s mind.
And it may be that they have a different end in mind. Their books are structured as though their arguments were meant to persuade theists, but functionally, their more integral purpose may be to redouble the perception of an inherent conflict between religion and secular life. To that end, it may actually even be in their favor to have few theists convinced by their arguments, since that resistance would further feed the perception that the religious are recalcitrant and impervious to reasonable discussion. Their real audience, then, would be atheists and secularists who do not take a sufficiently hard-line view of religion.