Magazine
Latest Issue

Fanatical unbelief

Jonathan Miller's BBC4 history of atheism inadvertently reveals how dogmatic non-belief in the west is merely a narrow inheritance of Christianity

By John Gray   November 2004

A revival of atheism is a curious by-product of the 9/11 attacks. The causes and motives of the suicidal assaults on Washington and New York are not fully known, but for unbelievers they were acts of self-destructive terror that no secular mind could commit. With the retreat of Christianity in Europe, it may have seemed that unbelief was also in decline. In the event, unbelief has been given a new lease of life by a savage reminder of the persistent intensity of faith.

Few unbelievers know much about the diversity of contemporary religious thought and practice, and if they rail…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect