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Forget Dawkins

Notes toward an Ethnography of Religious Belief and Doubt

Paul-François Tremlett and Fang-Long Shih

New Atheism is characterized by a binary logic that pits religion against science, belief against doubt, a pre-modern past against a modern present. It generates a temporal sensibility and attitude toward being modern that is a 'survival' of late-nineteenth-century anthropology, where religious belief and the past were bound together in opposition to science and the present. We analyze this binary logic and then, in response, present two ethnographic accounts—one from the Philippines, the other from Taiwan—to support our contention that religion is not just a matter of personal convictions. Rather, it is a public practice in which belief and doubt are constituted socially and dialogically.

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Reviews

Anton Jansson, Kai Vogelsang, and Nele Kuhlmann

contemporary adversaries come to the fore, they are the usual suspects: the poster boys of new atheism such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Steven Pinker. Rightly, he points out that regardless of how irrelevant the Whiggish eternal conflict

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Book Reviews

Jack Hunter, Annelin Eriksen, Jon Mitchell, Mattijs van de Port, Magnus Course, Nicolás Panotto, Ruth Barcan, David M. R. Orr, Girish Daswani, Piergiorgio Di Giminiani, Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Sofía Ugarte, Ryan J. Cook, Bettina E. Schmidt, and Mylene Mizrahi

commitment to such (religious) practices is both much more pragmatic and much more socially embedded than the New Atheism would recognize. This explains why ‘modernity’ does not inevitably lead to godlessness. Sonja Luehrmann examines Soviet ethnographies of