RELS395 God in Their Sights: The Arguments of New Atheism

Updated: 05 April 2017
Credit Points 6
Offering Not offered in 2018
Intensive School(s) None
Supervised Exam There is no supervised examination.

Pre-requisites 12cp in RELS including RELS180 or any 24cp or candidature in a postgraduate award
Co-requisites None
Restrictions RELS595
Notes None
Combined Units RELS595 - God in Their Sights: The Arguments of New Atheism
Coordinator(s) Anthony Lynch (
Unit Description

God is dead, religion is doomed, and science is the cure for faith, or so say the New Atheists. In the last decade eight international bestsellers set out to attack and to destroy the hold that religion has on humanity. These works constitute the opening blast of a newly invigorated secularism that insists that religion answer to the same canons of evidence and judgment as does science.

This unit offers rigorous engagement with the views underpinning New Atheism. Covering both the scientific and social scientific dimensions, the unit first examines the application of scientific reason to the supernatural and follows with an analysis of the claim that the loss of God and religion is no loss at all: life is nevertheless meaningful.

Materials Textbook information will be displayed approximately 8 weeks prior to the commencement of the teaching period. Please note that textbook requirements may vary from one teaching period to the next.
Disclaimer Unit information may be subject to change prior to commencement of the teaching period.
Assessment Assessment information will be published prior to commencement of the teaching period.
Learning Outcomes (LO) Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. exhibit a theoretical understanding of the major issues and ideas associated with New Atheism;
  2. critically discuss and evaluate some of the arguments associated with the scientific and social scientific critique of religion by way of written assignment;
  3. demonstrate a critical understanding of New Atheism by way of written assignments; and
  4. demonstrate a broad level of critical enquiry via effective online discussion.