An Enlightened Philosophy
Even an atheist world needs human values - religion interpreted as myth offers a classic contribution
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The subject matter of this book adds some welcome texture to an important topic. The Church Times
Thisbook breaks into the stale confrontation between atheism and religion. Calling on his experience in industry and his interest in faith and values, Geoff Crocker offers a fresh interpretation of religion as strong myth from which to create personal and social values. He argues that contemporary atheism, whilst a valid hypothesis, destroys a source of values without offering any alternative. The result is moral nihilism and a materialist self centred consumer society.This he argues is much less than a full understanding of human life and society. He starts by tracing the development of philosophy to an atheist position, arguing that metaphysical concepts, an aspect of faith, are essential to human life. He then suggests a reinterpretation of the religious texts as myth, offering a wide range of examples on themes of justice, love, the market, the role of the state, fear, resurrection and sibling rivalry. This book will appeal both to secularists who are looking for believable interpretation of faith and to Christians looking for a relevant interpretation of faith.
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I did enjoy reading this book. I was arguing with Mr Crocker all the time I was reading it and I very much look forward to exploring the extensive bibliography.~ Barbara Burfoot, Sofia
The subject matter of this book adds some welcome texture to an important topic.~ Richard Cheetham, Church Times
Atheism is the lack of belief, but is such a thing truly possible? An Enlightened Philosophy discusses atheism and religious belief, and offers an intriguing and thoughtful spin of philosophy on the subject. With much thought, anyone intrigued by atheism or say to be atheists themselves may find An Enlightened Philosophy an endlessly fascinating and enticing read.
An Enlightened Philosophy gives us a thorough, erudite review of the discussion about whether there is a God from both sides and provides a remarkable bibliography for customers who want to study the debate further.~ New Age Retailer
Short, but interesting, well mannered, and well documented.~ David Rosman, New York Journal of Books
This is popular philosophy, in the same sense as 'popular science'. It covers a lot of ideas from academic philosophy, but is written with the general public in mind -- up to a point, anyway. That point being that the general public has little interest in philosophy, so readers drawn to Mr Crocker's book are likely to have some interest in the subject already. The same kind of readers, perhaps, who have read Richard Dawkins, or John Humphries, or other writers creating the mini-wave of popular atheist texts doing the rounds at the moment. "An Enlightened Philosophy" takes the rather nihilistic view espoused by such authors and attempts to salvage something meaningful, even spiritual, from them.~ Andy Lloyd , http://www.darkstar1.co.uk/enlightenedphil.htm
Crocker, an industrial consultant, is a former evangelical Christian and speaker on Christianity who later re-examined his faith and accepted the conclusion of secular philosophy that there may be no external God. He, however, retains his conviction in the value of religion. Arguing that contemporary atheism destroys personal and social values without offering an alternative, he gives a perspective on the possibility of an atheism enhanced by the values of religious myth and metaphysical philosophy. He reviews the development of atheism from Hume to Richard Dawkins and other contemporary philosophers such as Julian Baggini, and critiques the role of the church in society in terms of the specific interpretation of religion it has offered. The book's readership includes secularists, Christians, religious scholars, and church leaders.~ Book News Inc
Here, in a slim but profound volume, we have an enlightened bid to bridge the gap in the notorious 'God debate,' between the likes of Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett on the one side and Karen Armstrong and Simon Blackburn on the other. What Crocker is trying to forge is nothing less than an enlivening philosophy for our jaded and confused times, despite the fact that atheism is usually seen as the default position requiring no defence.
Crocker will be seen as the creator of controversy from the point of view of the church and organised religion – of which his criticism is unflinching – but applauded by seekers of a new, holistic spirituality who are opposed to dogma and outmoded practices.~ Geoff Ward, www.suite101.com/
An interesting and nuanced reflection on the relationship between science and religion. The author forges a middle way between religious belief and the new atheism by constructively interpreting the power of religion as myth. Not everyone will agree that we can grasp Divine values without any belief in God, but the author makes a good case.~ Network Review
A fascinating and useful addition to its field.~ Stuart Hannabuss, Network (Catholic Women's Network)
Geoff Crocker seeks to steer a pathway between traditional theistic religion and other non-rationalistic approaches whilst refusing to settle for the nihilism and amorality implicit in much postmodern culture and thought. He sees usefulness in classical religious myths to augment a pure rationalism, providing enrichment and sustenance to the human search for value and ethics. His criticisms of the Church may be bruising for some Christians to read, but his argument also cuts in an opposite direction to challenge a value-free postmodernism or neo-rationalism and their application in 'the Market' and popular attitudes to moral discourse. Here is a new and clear voice in popular philosophy which deserves a hearing by religious and non-religious readers seeking to make sense of our world today.~ Paul Roberts,Dean of Non-residential Training, St Michael's College, Llandaff, Cardiff
Geoff Crocker brings a fresh voice to the God debate, arguing that Biblical mythology and critical thinking need not be enemies. Eloquent and persuasive ~ David Boulton,Author of The Trouble with God and Who on Earth was Jesus?
This is a book to leave you reeling, provoked - and hopeful. Geoff Crocker embraces the death of God, but not the simplistic mantras of Dawkins-style 'new' atheism. Advocating nothing less than a synthesis of the sacred and the secular, he finds a divine power in religious myth even when its supernatural content is stripped away. Make no mistake: this book pulls no punches in its critique of the church, and many will want to argue with its bold claims. But ultimately this is a work of profoundly spiritual hope, nothing less than a philosophy of life for disenchanted times. ~ Steven Shakespeare, Lecturer in Philosophy, Liverpool Hope University
Geoff Crocker embarks on a noble project indeed as he attempts to synthesise from both ends of the contemporary theistic/atheistic spectrum the moral framework for a viable 21st century living model. Although this timely volume basically critiques the writings of others (the author’s personal selection) Geoff’s own voice frequently breaks out to challenge his readers with undisguised passion. His analysis of the western zeitgeist rings true and he touches some interesting areas of secular and religious life. For lively and open-minded folk, particularly those who can’t find the time to digest ‘in the original’ the plethora of philosophical re-thinking currently hitting the shelves, the book may act as a useful prompt to revisit their trusty traditional moral compass - to find it needs considerable adjustment for journeying in a fast-moving new century.~ Penny Mawdsley, Chester Humanist Group, former trustee of Sea of Faith Network, author of The Stain that Wonâ€™t Wash Out: The Persistence of Religion in our Cultural Fabric
Remember the Time Magazine cover that said, God is dead? What an uproar it caused. Fortunately, over the last few decades, the debate has matured into an intellectual and respectful meeting of minds engaged in a lively discussion about whether there is a God. An Enlightened Philosophy gives us a thorough, erudite review of that discussion from both sides, and provides a remarkable bibliography for customers who want to study the debate further. In addition, Crocker suggests that the idea which rises above the fray is that religious myth has value to society and doesn’t necessarily require a belief in a specific deity. Echoing Joseph Campbell, he tells us that myth has more power than doctrine and needs to be preserved. Campbell’s The Power of Myth will make a good display companion, as will any of his DVDs.~ Anna Jedrziewski , New Age Retailer