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Spiritual Atheism

Steve Antinoff

28 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1582435642 / ISBN 13: 9781582435640
Published by Counterpoint, 2010
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Spiritual Atheism

Publisher: Counterpoint

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Fine

About this title


Over the last 160 years, a great dilemma has been hatching out of Western spiritual consciousness. In our modern existence, we have lost faith in the traditional routes by which human beings have come to experience the Divine, and an acceptance of oneself as having a place in the order of the universe. In Spiritual Atheism, Steve Antinoff argues that the dilemma burning within the West has been given its most fundamental expression by Kirilov in Dostoyevsky’s The Possessed: "God is necessary, and so must exist . . . Yet I know that he doesn’t exist, and can’t exist . . . But don't you understand that a man with two such ideas cannot go on living?" According to Antinoff, spiritual atheism begins with three realizations: that our experience of ourselves and our world leaves us ultimately dissatisfied, that our dissatisfaction is intolerable and so must be broken through, and that there is no God. Continuing where such writers as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris left off, Antinoff's unique and prescient take on deity and spirituality makes this book a critical contribution to the understanding of the quest for salvation and enlightenment in a world full of chaos and need.

From Publishers Weekly:

A college instructor of philosophy and religion who spent 15 years studying Zen Buddhism in Japan, Antinoff's debut follows popular, provocative atheist tomes like Christopher Hitchen's God is Not Great, but is more a prod than a philosophical primer. As a jumping-off point, Antinoff uses a principal quotation from Dostoyevsky: "God is necessary, and so must exist... Yet I know that he doesn't exist, and can't exist." Antinoff seeks to answer, "What then?" Presupposing the lack of a divine entity, Antinoff is unafraid to alienate readers who believe in a God of any kind, and his fondness for quoting the great (Christian) philosopher Paul Tillich works to further antagonize believers, as well as atheists searching for meaning. Antinoff considers and dismisses only two concepts-intense romantic love and intense artistic output-as possible substitutes for religion and spiritual belief, a position sure to provoke atheists who find great purpose in, say, charitable work or science. Eventually, Antinoff turns to his own Zen Buddhist practice, using koans and received wisdom to create a non-answer to his central question, ultimately failing to please or enlighten. END

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