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Major Book Review, Elaine H. Ecklund and David R. Johnson, “Varieties of Atheism in Science” (OUP, 2021)

When: June 7, 2023, 1:00 pm - Wednesday

Where: Yarnton

Session 1

Session Abstract

Ecklund and Johnson’s Varieties of Atheism in Science brings nuanced commentary to the perception that scientists are all elitist atheists and dispels the caricature of atheism fueled by New Atheists including Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. Through surveys and interviews, the authors provide a helpful exploration of the reasons scientists have become atheists and, to quote a chapter title, “Why Religious Believers Should Give Atheist Scientists a Chance.” Three persons from different disciplines will bring critical review of the work with Ecklund providing a response. Among the goals of the session are the discovery of “heuristic grist that suggests further trajectories of scholarly exploration.”


John Lewis, Lipscomb University, Convener

  • Greg Cootsona, California State University, Chico, Comparative Religion and Humanities, Reviewer
  • Dwayne Simmons, Baylor University, Biology, Reviewer
  • Amanda Nichols, Oklahoma Christian University, Natural Health and Sciences, Reviewer
  • Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice University, Respondent

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James Cone with conferee at the CSC in 2017

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Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson delivering the CSC plenary address

3 / 5

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delivering the CSC plenary address.

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US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith delivering the CSC plenary address

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David Brooks engaging conferees during breakfast at the CSC

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