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Unbelievers

Unbelievers

An Emotional History of Doubt

by Alec Ryrie
Paperback
Publication Date: 15/11/2019
RRP  $32.99 $30.75
Why have Western societies that were once overwhelmingly Christian become so secular? Looking to the feelings and faith of ordinary people, the award-winning author of Protestants Alec Ryrie offers a bold new history of atheism.



We think we know the history of faith: how the ratio of Christian believers has declined and a secular age dawned. In this startlingly original history, Alex Ryrie puts faith in the dock to explore how religious belief didn't just fade away. Rather, atheism bloomed as a belief system in its own right.

Unbelievers looks back to the middle ages when it seemed impossible not to subscribe to Christianity, through the crisis of the Reformation and to the powerful, challenging cultural currents of the centuries since. As this history shows, the religious journey of the Western world was lived and steered not just by published philosophy and the celebrated thinkers of the day - the Machiavellis and Michel de Montaignes - but by men and women at every level of society. Their voices and feelings permeate this book in the form of diaries, letters and court records.

Tracing the roots of atheism, Ryrie shows that our emotional responses to the times can lead faith to wax and wane: anger at a corrupt priest or anxiety in a turbulent moment spark religious doubt as powerfully as any intellectual revolution. With Christianity under contest and ethical redefinitions becoming more and more significant, Unbelievers shows that to understand how something as intuitive as belief is shaped over time, we must look to an emotional history - one with potent lessons for our still angry and anxious age.
ISBN:
9780008299828
9780008299828
Category:
Social & cultural history
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
15-11-2019
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
272
Dimensions (mm):
234x153x21mm
Weight:
0.33kg
Alec Ryrie

Alec Ryrie was born in London. He studied History and Theology at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford and is now Professor of the History of Christianity at Durham University.

A specialist on the Reformation, he is the author of `The Sorcerer's Tale: Faith and Fraud in Tudor England', the prize-winning `Being Protestant in Reformation Britain', and is the co-editor of the Journal of Ecclesiastical History.

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