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Towards Better Disagreement

Religion and Atheism in Dialogue
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Are atheists immoral? Does religion cause conflict? Is religion always opposed to science?

Boldly paving the way for constructive dialogue between atheists and religious believers, Paul Hedges tackles issues such as the treatment of women, the idea of a pure and empirical realm of 'science', and the association of religion with violence and warfare, debunking the myths and exposing the futility of the battle between 'reason' and 'belief'.

Threading deftly between atheism, the major world religions of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, and smaller groups such as Paganism, Hedges demonstrates a vast scope for agreement and interaction between them which will call to every open minded reader.
  • Published: Sep 21 2016
  • Pages: 200
  • 216 x 161mm
  • ISBN: 9781785920578
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Press Reviews

  • Dr. Allison P. Coudert, Paul and Marie Castelfranco Chair in the Study of Religion University of California

    This is a terrific little book! I don't know how you managed to cover so many key issues so clearly and in such a short space. You have done a remarkably good job: the writing is clear and accessible; to my mind your tone is perfect because you emphasize that you want to engage with people, but that, like them, you do have opinions; this is one of the few times I really liked boxes because they provided short, pertinent examples instead of interrupting the text. I would use this text, in fact I would like to use this text for a class I am giving in the spring, so I wish it were already published! I very much liked your introductory discussion about faith vs. reason. That is such an important issue, and you covered it beautifully with excellent examples and thought experiments... This was a most enjoyable read.
  • The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, PhD, Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary, Professor of Theology and Ethics and Author of Against Atheism

    Judicious, informed, and fair - Paul Hedges doesn't simply compare and contrast the different worldview of atheists and believers, but goes behind them. Taking all the major religions into account, Hedges creates a map of areas of analysis that illuminates and clarifies the debates. It is a compelling tour de force. In this book, Hedges becomes the sage guide that our polarized age desperately needs.
  • Michael Ruse, Lucyle T Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University and Author of Darwinism as Religion: What Literature tells us about Evolution

    Towards Better Disagreement: Religion and Atheism in Dialogue is a thoughtful and compassionate review of the differences between those who find some spiritual sense and meaning to existence and those that do not. It is marked by a gentle courtesy towards disputants, without at all ignoring or belittling genuine disagreements. What makes it remarkably valuable, both for the more general reader as well as the student, is the wide range of issues covered from questions about the founders of religion (like Jesus) to contemporary problems of much concern including sex and gender, and the nature and place of animals. Highly recommended.
  • Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib, Singapore interfaith activist and founding member, Leftwrite Center

    This book paves the way for both theists and atheists to relate to each other in a more nuanced and meaningful way. It is a much needed resource for all who are interested in laying the foundations for robust dialogues between the religious and non-religious communities beyond presumptions and prejudices.
  • James Woodward

    James Woodward
    Paul Hedges is an extraordinarily fluent, courteous and wise writer. He covers a great deal of ground with admirable brevity and clarity. The result is a readable and accessible book that I shall be commending to my students here at Sarum College. In particular I think that it would be of practical use to A-level students or undergraduates wanting to explore the nature of religion. This text will certainly inform the development of our learning life here in Sarum College.
  • Robert Reiss

    Interreligious Insight
    Those engaged in inter-religious dialogue will find much of the analysis offered thought-provoking and constructive, and it may well point to the face that in discussions there should be room for a sensitive atheist perspective as well.
  • Theology Journal

    This book is timely, and the intention behind it is to be applauded. - Richard Norman, University of Kent
  • Asia Journal of Theology

    While the book is compact, it manages to cover a good deal of material with lucidity and conciseness. The format of the book also makes it highly accessible, with summary boxes that succinctly condense the main points. This work would be useful to students at an undergraduate level seeking to understand more about religion and its dialogue with atheism.
  • Carl Chudy

    Anglican Theological Review
    Paul hedges's study is an important one in our fractious time, offering excellent consideration of meaningful dialogue between the secular and the religious that goes beyond apologetics (both religious and secular), as it seeks common ground for shared engagement in the world.