On Wednesday, October 24, AFF will host a roundtable on atheism. Though historically disorganized and decreasingly popular on the national political scene, fundamentalist Christianity has retained enough force to attract a powerful new salvo of criticism. Some charge that what Andrew Sullivan calls ‘Christianism’ has collapsed the wall between faith and government, harming both. Others seek to do away with religion entirely. Figures arrayed across both science and the humanities, like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, have published a wave of bestsellers making the atheist pitch to the masses. But instead of surrender, this diligent barrage has prompted an equally diligent counterattack. With western civilization at yet another moment of apparent peril, internecine cultural conflict could needlessly provoke another paralyzing crisis. To the contrary, such conflict may prove precisely the west’s enduring strength. Regardless, when cultural combatants go on offense, we judge them on the merits in those terms. How does what Peter Berkowitz calls the New New Atheism fare in that regard — harshly dogmatic or valuably reasonable?
Joining us to discuss these issues are Ross Douthat of the Atlantic Monthly, Will Wilkinson of the Cato Institute, Michael Brendan Dougherty of The American Conservative, and Keith Pavlischek of Ethics and Public Policy Center. James Poulos will moderate. The event will take place at the Fund for American Studies, 1706 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, near Dupont Circle. Drinks at 6:30; Roundtable begins at 7:00. Roundtables are free for members, $5 for non-members. So join today! Please RSVP to Kathleen O’Hearn at firstname.lastname@example.org.