Second paragraph of third chapter:
Howlers aside, the broader ramifications are especially worthy of note. It is not just scientists such as Dawkins, but also many philosophers (Richard Rorty being a notable example) who fail to see that secular humanism is not a neutral standpoint. It is an alternative metaphysical vision revolving around what a more searching thinker, Charles Taylor, has called ‘images of power, or untrammelled agency, of spiritual self-possession’.¹ We will return to this vision and its very mixed legacy more than once.
¹ Cited in Christopher J. Insole, The Realist Hope: A Critique of Anti-Realist Approaches in Contemporary Philosophical Theology (Ashgate, 2006), p. 166.
One of the religion books that I have logged on my LibraryThing catalogue, even though it’s really Anne’s. I found it a lot more to my taste than most Christian apologetic works; Shortt is arguing only that there should be space in public and private for an honest appreciation of spirituality and belief, and that the New Atheists completely and deliberately miss the point. There’s a quote from Rowan Williams referencing Doctor Who. The weakest part of the (mercifully short) book is when he gets into the specifics of Christian belief, as opposed to others, but as a general defence of religion as a concept, I felt it went to a lot of the places where I find my own sympathies engaged. You can get it here.
This was the shortest unread book on my shelves acquired in 2016. Next on that pile is The Karmic Curve, by Mary I. Williams.