Young Australian Christians reading Dawkins and Hitchens: A qualitative study

Pembroke, Neil (2013) Young Australian Christians reading Dawkins and Hitchens: A qualitative study. Theology, 116 3: 177-186. doi:10.1177/0040571X12472597


Author Pembroke, Neil
Title Young Australian Christians reading Dawkins and Hitchens: A qualitative study
Journal name Theology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0040-571X
2044-2696
Publication date 2013
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0040571X12472597
Volume 116
Issue 3
Start page 177
End page 186
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The method of interpretive phenomenology was used to investigate the responses of twelve young Australian Christian University students to selected writings by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. In analysing the interview data, the following six themes emerged: the style is entertaining and humorous; the style is disrespectful and mocking; many of the arguments are perceived as lacking depth and philosophical sophistication; constructive engagement with 'the other side' was found to be lacking; the 'religion poisons everything' argument cannot be sustained (it's a human rather than a specifically religious failing); and, finally, the arguments that cast doubt on the historicity and reliability of the biblical accounts are troubling. Though the capacity for critical analysis is variable in the cohort, all of the participants were able to point up serious flaws in the arguments. No one found her- or himself 'falling under the spell' of the authors.
Keyword Christopher Hitchens
New Atheists
Qualitative research
Richard Dawkins
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
 
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Created: Thu, 04 Apr 2013, 14:24:57 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry