Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Book [on CD] Review: What's So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza.

Dinesh D'Souza probably should be paying royalties to Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and even the estate of Nietzsche.

For all the quotations of their work, he probably owes them a monetary debt. More broadly, D'Souza probably also owes them a debt of gratitude for they serve as foils for his book. In fact, the companion study guide is subtitled, "Your Guide to Answering the New Atheists". D'Souza asserts he wrote this book to answer their (and others') "strongest critiques and objections" to Christianity.

As a result, the book is mistitled (likely to parallel his earlier work, What's So Great About America). It's not so much as litany of the beneficial effects of Christianity as the title would suggest, but as a polemic for the religion, responding to such questions of the origin of the universe, miracles, and the problem of evil, among other things. D'Souza, however, does eventually get to the promised utilitarian argument in his final chapter (26), "A Foretaste of Eternity: How Christianity Can Change Your Life."

Coming from his background as a writer mostly about politics, D'Souza essentially relies on others to make his case in this disparate area. In this sense, D'Souza is a popularizer of what others have done in the fields of philosophy, science, and theology as they bear on these questions. However, while not formally trained in these disciplines, he brings to the topics clear prose, and sometimes, a creative way to repackage these thoughts for a general readership.

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