God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet

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9780520269071: God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet
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In this tour of the history of arguments for and against the existence of God, Nathan Schneider embarks on a remarkable intellectual, historical, and theological journey through the centuries of believers and unbelievers from ancient Greeks, to medieval Arabs, to today’s most eminent philosophers and the New Atheists. Framed by an account of Schneider’s own unique journey, God in Proof illuminates the great minds who wrestled with one of history’s biggest questions together with their arguments, bringing them to life in their time, and our own. Schneider’s sure-handed portrayal of the characters and ideas involved in the search for proof challenges how we normally think about doubt and faith while showing that, in their quest for certainty and the proofs to declare it, thinkers on either side of the God divide are often closer to one another than they would like to think.

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From the Inside Flap:

"What to call this odd, fascinating, and absolutely compelling book? History? Treatise? Manifesto? Travelogue? Confession? It’s all of the above, plus drawings that are as full of wit as the delightful prose. The combination is deceptively casual, for as Schneider’s excursions into philosophy and theology knit together into a story, we see the shape of subtly powerful argument for proofs as a genre more akin to visions than logic. That makes them no less true or false; only (like this remarkable book) revelatory." Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family

"A heartfelt exploration of a matter typically assumed to be about the head alone, full of faith yet faithful to reason and gloriously free of the cliches of 'true believers' and 'new atheists' alike." Stephen Prothero, God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World

"If Walter Kaufmann and Annie Dillard had a love child, it would be Nathan Schneider. Part philosophy junkie, part spiritual seeker, all journalist, Schneider takes us on a tour of proofs for the existence of God. Rather than trying to advance a single theistic idea, he reveals that the question of God's existence remains as urgent as ever not in a final proof, but as an irrepressible confrontation between the self and the world. This is a very special book, written by a gifted observer of the human condition." Kathryn Lofton, Yale University

God in Proof is a tour de force. I mean this, first of all, in the dictionary sense--the book is an exceptional achievement, unequaled by anyone else; it is a feat of extraordinary writing and ingenuity. But I also mean it metaphorically--Nathan Schneider takes the reader on an exciting historical tour of attempts to reinforce religious belief by way of proof. Though I'm a philosopher by profession and Schneider is not, I couldn't put the book down--philosophical insights veritably popped from the pages. I enthusiastically recommend the book to anyone, professional philosopher or not, interested in philosophical argument, in general, and proofs of God's existence, in particular." Kelly James Clark, Return to Reason

About the Author:

Nathan Schneider’s writing about religion and reason has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Commonweal, and Religion Dispatches, among other publications. He is an editor of Killing the Buddha, an online magazine about religion and culture.

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