The Better Angels of Our Nature. The Decline of Violence and Its Causes in History

Author: Steven Pinker
ISBN: 978-1-846-14093-8
Date: 2011
Price: ?12.99 RRP
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Publisher: Penguin

Anyone involved in pastoral ministry has to be open to dialogue with atheists and other unbelievers, however offensive some people?s views may be. At the same time, while developing the skills to defend religious belief, the believer also needs to acknowledge the dark and evil places in religious history.

Steven Pinker?s latest book is a good place to start. He is Professor of Psychology at Harvard and a self-confessed ?Jewish atheist?: in this study he is very negative about religious belief and practice during human history, perhaps most of all about Christianity and the other monotheistic religions, which are seen as obstacles to human progress. While he does acknowledge the moral goodness of some contemporary believers, the overall picture is not flattering.

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