A Review by Dave Dentel
Note: This was originally posted in 2006. Dennett’s book was one of the first I read as research for my own work, The God Imperative.
To anyone familiar with his career, it’s no surprise that Darwinist philosopher Daniel C. Dennett has a problem with religion. What is surprising, however, is the ardor with which Dennett delivers what Richard John Neuhaus of First Things characterizes as a “mugging of religion” in his latest book, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.
The faith and church founded by Jesus Christ not only is global in its reach, but is intertwined with the histories of the various continents. These facts are borne out by Martin Marty’s brief but insightful book, The Christian World.
Note: I entered this in my workplace essay contest and won a Starbuck’s card. There was literally no competition—mine was the only submission.
We probably first heard it on the radio during a Christmas Eve roadtrip to the in-laws. It must have seemed especially soothing, because it has become one of our favorite Yuletide traditions.
Still, why my wife and I love an anachronism like Cambridge University’s annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is not easy to articulate.
Is religion a lie? Is God an illusion caused by a virus of the mind? Several best-selling atheists authors think so. And they claim science supports them, citing in particular the theory of evolution and its implicit agnosticism.