RICHARD DAWKINS is presented as something outrageously new, an ogre among beleaguered theologians. He is in fact just the latest recruit to Christianity's long line of 'cultured despisers'. When he says that 'theology is no longer a respectable subject for universities to teach', I can hear the philosopher Feuerbach asserting that 'theology can be dissolved into anthropology without remainder'. And that was 150 years ago. What disappoints me about Dr Dawkins is that his excessive rationality and obvious disdain for religion prevent him from seeing with a clear eye. He traduces Christianity as nothing more than a mishmash of superstition and nonsense.
Is he not aware that the value of theology lies precisely in its insistence that religious truth is rarely simple and requires intellectual elucidation if it is to have any real integrity? Until he concedes this point, Mr Dawkins remains an eminent practitioner in his field and a cheap polemicist in the nuanced world of religion.
The Rev Rod Garner
The Parish of St Paul's
Kingston upon Hull