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Does Religion do More Harm than Good?

Rupert Shortt



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01 May 2019
Religion & beliefs; Religion & politics
History is littered with wars and atrocities apparently inspired by religion, and today there seems no end to reports of cruelty and violence carried out in the name of God.But is it belief in God that motivates these evils? Or do they spring from other motives? At the same time, history testifies to numerous benefits to humanity brought about by religious individuals and movements. But despite these positive outcomes might it be true, as some atheists aver, that religion in general does more harm than good? Is religion itself inherently toxic? Or could it simply be that there is good religion and there is bad religion, and we just need to learn to tell the difference? Rupert Shortt's investigation of these questions will encourage both believers and unbelievers to discard the lazy thinking and easy assumptions that so often disfigure the arguments on either side of this debate. It will also facilitate a more sensitive, nuanced and honest approach to religious differences that today still lead to misunderstanding, hatred and violent conflict.
By:   Rupert Shortt
Imprint:   SPCK
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm, 
ISBN:   9780281078714
ISBN 10:   0281078718
Pages:   80
Publication Date:   01 May 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Rupert Shortt is Religion editor of the Times Literary Supplement and a former Visiting Fellow at Oxford University. His recent books include Christianophobia: A Faith under Attack (2012) Rowan's Rule: The Biography of the Archbishop (2014) and God is No Thing: Coherent Christianity(2015).

Reviews for Does Religion do More Harm than Good?

Argued with elegance and authority . . . refreshing and highly enjoyable', Melvyn Bragg 'An admirably concise, thoughtful and fair discussion of the virtues and vices of a religious society.', Professor Iain McGilchrist, consultant psychiatrist and author of The Master and His Emissary 'I love this book. It demolishes fashionable atheists who claim religion only does harm. It criticises extremists of all faiths who promote hatred and violence in the name of religion, and it praises, with caveats, those who seek meaning in their lives within a community, find something in the transcendent, and want to make the world a better place.', Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE 'Shortt is one of the UK's most thoughtful and self-effacing religious commentators', Michael Barnes, Professor of Interreligious Relations at Heythrop College, University of London. 'Are the world's major religions forces for good or harm? Rupert Shortt provides a fascinating and enlightening discussion, summarising key arguments on both sides, with a much-needed appeal for a deeper conversation about religion and secularism.', Imam Dr Usama Hasan, Head of Islamic Studies, Quilliam International 'A triumph of ambition and concision.', Lucy Beckett, author of In the Light of Christ: Writings in the Western Tradition

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