Recent criticism of religion that has been mounted by secular intellectuals has disturbed many people of faith and so requires a robust response. The anxiety caused has been underestimated by the leaders of faith communities. The wider cultural exposure of the ideas of the new atheists and the subsequent respectability now attaching to their ideas has emboldened many more people in opinion polls to self-identify as atheist or of no religion. At the same time, however, the tone of the criticism has too often been hostile, dismissive and condescending in public discussion. What is needed is a more temperate debate that allows those not inhabiting the opposite ends of the spectrum to be more clearly heard.There are real questions, problems and concerns that do not admit of pre-packaged concerns. No single position can monopolise the truth and many non-believers today wish to engage in a more constructive dialogue with people of faith than the standard bearers of the ‘new atheism’ seem to allow. Many of the arguments and claims in this book apply in different ways to the other Abrahamic faiths and perhaps even beyond these. For this reason, this work may now be of interest to an Arabic audience. Dr Muneer Al-Ali with his patient and hardworking effort has achieved translating quite complex ideas into an accessible Arabic idiom.
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David Fergusson is Professor of Divinity and Principal of the New College of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. Muneer Al-Ali is Consultant Urologist and Transplant Surgeon and former Professor of Urology. He is also an Affiliate Scholar at New College of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh
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