• Unbelievers

  • An Emotional History of Doubt
  • By: Alec Ryrie
  • Narrated by: Andy Creswell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Why have societies that were once overwhelmingly Christian become so secular? We think we know the answer, but in this lively and startlingly original reconsideration, Alec Ryrie argues that people embraced unbelief much as they have always chosen their worldviews: through their hearts more than their minds.

Looking back to the crisis of the Reformation and beyond, Unbelievers shows how, long before philosophers started to make the case for atheism, powerful cultural currents were challenging traditional faith. These tugged in different ways not only on celebrated thinkers such as Machiavelli, Montaigne, Hobbes, and Pascal, but on men and women at every level of society whose voices we hear through their diaries, letters, and court records.

Ryrie traces the roots of atheism born of anger, a sentiment familiar to anyone who has ever cursed a corrupt priest, and of doubt born of anxiety, as Christians discovered their faith was flimsier than they had believed. As the Reformation eroded time-honored certainties, Protestant radicals defended their faith by redefining it in terms of ethics. In the process they set in motion secularizing forces that soon became transformational. Unbelievers tells a powerful emotional history of doubt with potent lessons for our own angry and anxious age.

©2019 Alec Ryrie (P)2020 Tantor

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important and neglected insight of atheism

This was wonderfully such a surprisingly wise book.
We all in the west focus on the idea that ones worldview is what there intellect brought them to.....
Now there is truth in this but emotion,,,, or more precisely,,,,DESIRE ,,,, is more of a "compass "" and the intellect tags along...DONT mistake me as a Buddhist ,,,, desire is where GOD gives so much of his grace in us.. but some desires are of a poisonous bend and need cleansing or made straight...
But desire really is the initial guide. that said IN our journeys of life,, this desire can lead us towards GOD or away from GOD...Apologetics is great for those who are moving towards GOD( IN DESIRE) BUT hits a wall of strong intellectual doubts or lies from outside us( students desiring GOD when entering a college today, but leaving a atheist...)
I learned long ago that no amount of argument or truth will change someone who does not WANT to.. I think desire and will are distinct things but so very closely intertwined. THIS great little book approaches from this truth....
AMAZINGLY, once reminded of this , it seemed like I knew it always....this is common sense that he awakened....what a great gift a writer can give his reader...( why I love g.k.chesterton so much).
So, with this rather long winded review , I declare to the universe, THIS IS A GREAT BOOK.......GET IT....and most importantly, ENJOY IT,, TRUTH IS A JOY!!!!!!!

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Excellent book

well researched and thoroughly enjoyable, everything about it was great. I will listen to it again at a later date.