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Burley, M (2014)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Languages: English
Types: Article
Philosophers of religion have distinguished between ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ atheism. This article considers further conceptions of atheism, especially the idea that atheism can facilitate a faith in God purified of idolatrous assumptions. After introducing Bultmann’s contention that a ‘conscious atheist’ can find something transcendent in the world, this contention is interpreted through reflection on Ricoeur’s claim that the atheisms of Nietzsche and Freud serve to mediate a transition to a purified faith – a faith involving heightened receptivity to agapeic love. The troubling question of what differentiates atheism from belief in God is then discussed in the light of Simone Weil’s meditations on God’s secret presence.
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