Dawkin's God is a non-fiction book by Alister McGrath published in 2004. It is a response to Dawkin's views, especially as they regard religion. The book is subtitled Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life.


The most intelligible interpretation of McGrath's take on Dawkins is that Dawkins is attacking academic-religion and not pop-religion. The reason for making this distinction is that the author indicates Dawkins' arguments as being outdated, as not relevant to current theological thinking, when at the same time the reader suspects that Dawkins' arguments address religion as conceived by the average, contemporary religious individual. This does not make McGrath's points irrelevant, but they do reduce their range of relevance, so that his adjusted thesis becomes: Dawkin's anti-God arguments present no liability to religion qua theology (i.e. that academic discipline).

The author's own philosophy is made mostly through negative statements, as in the form of "Dawkins was mistaken that X" so that by implication the author holds not-X. While positive implications can be supposed from the negative statements, they cannot be proved as being held by the author. For example: given what McGrath writes, it seems likely that the theology he is defending allows for the evolution of life on Earth and the big bang, but he does not specifically and obviously say so. One of the few positive statements made by the author relate to a definition of faith (which he holds not to be "blind trust"): "It commences with the conviction of the mind based on adequate evidence; it continues in the confidence of [...] emotions based on conviction, and it is crowned in the consent of the will, by means of which the conviction and confidence are expressed in conduct." The other area he provides clear positive statements is when discussing aesthetics in theology.

The author is very well educated, and his (occasionally non sequitur) titbits of knowledge are dispersed throughout the text. While this sometimes means going on an unnecessary (or misleading) tangent, it does make reading interesting. One of the areas he wastes space is his discussions of memes. The term memes is useful, but memes-theory is poorly developed and really not worth addressing critically at length.

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