Eminent Victorians

Debaters with imagination
The new atheist movement has reached its high-water mark, and there are signs that it is starting to recede. Wishful thinking, you say? Aren’t there more and more antireligious tracts on the bestseller lists? Aren’t these writers terribly clever? Perhaps so, yet somehow they fail to capture the imagination. There have been times—above all during the 19th century—when the debate between belief and unbelief was a more spirited adventure, engaging combatants of wonderful idiosyncrasy, moral energy, and curiosity about the natural world.


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