chapter  15
13 Pages

Religious atheism

Assessing political religion through Critchley’s Faith of the Faithless
ByDennis Vanden Auweele

The last few years have seen a strong discontent with the radical, scientifically-based New Atheism. The reaction did not only come from confessional theologians and philosophers, but denominationally atheist philosophers as well are finding fault with New Atheism. In this paper, I will examine in what way even atheist philosophy can recognize the benefit of religion for societal purposes. More specifically, I will investigate the need for an authorizing faith in liberal principles to sustain liberal democracy. This will be done in dialogue with the work of Simon Critchley, most importantly his Faith of the Faithless. At its close, this paper will offer some critical reflections on this atheist appropriation of the boons of religious communitarianism with regard to the topics of creativity, authenticity and longevity.