Religion and Education

Religion in Education: What, in Heaven’s Name, are we Teaching our Children? – Cathy Byrne

Cathy Byrne presents the secular principle as a guiding compass for religion in government schools in plural democracies. Using in-depth case studies, historical and contextual research from Australia, and comparisons with other developed nations, Religion in Secular Education provides a comprehensive, at times confronting, analysis of the ideologies, policies, pedagogies, and practices for state-school religion. In the context of rising demands for students to develop intercultural competence and inter-religious literacy, and alongside increasing Christian evangelism in the public arena, this book highlights risks and implications as education develops religious identity – in individual children and in nation states. Byrne proposes a best practice framework for nations attempting to navigate towards socially inclusive outcomes and critical thinking in religions education policy. More.

This is an expensive book – if you can’t afford to buy it, ask your local library to purchase a copy.

The Australian Book of Atheism – Warren Bonett ed.

This book was conceived at a meeting of the Sunshine Coast Atheists and several of our members, including Warren Bonett, Kirsty Bruce, a person who prefers to remain un-named, Jode Matthews and Vicki O’Brien were closely involved in seeing the project brought to fruition.

Does the Anzac ethos have roots in atheism? Does prayer have a place in parliament? Should €˜”creation science” be taught in Australian schools? Is atheism maligned in political debate? Will Australia’€™s future be godless? While prominent international thinkers have made significant contributions to the general conversation on belief and religion, Australians have been less heard.

The Australian Book of Atheism is the first collection to explore atheism from an Australian viewpoint. Bringing together essays from 32 of the nation’s pre-eminent atheist, rationalist, humanist, and skeptic thinkers, it canvasses a range of opinions on religion and secularism in Australia.

Including contributions from Michael Bachelard, Dr Leslie Cannold, Robyn Williams, Lyn Allison, Tim Minchin, and Phillip Nitschke, this diverse and entertaining collection showcases the unique character of Australian atheism.

Introduction to Atheism

If you’re new to atheism you might be wondering what it’s all about or you might be confused by the contradictions between what you’ve been told by theists or the media and how you feel.  For example, there is much talk about how atheists can’t know how to be good, yet, you know you are good and, perhaps, see that theists aren’t being that good.

People coming out of religion are not going to find the answer in these books, or any books.  A skeptical, atheist mind doesn’t want to be told the answer. They want to learn to ask a better question.

These books are a arranged from beginner to advanced.

Atheism: A Very Short Introduction – Julian Baggini

Atheism is often considered to be a negative, dark, and pessimistic belief which is characterized by a rejection of values and purpose and a fierce opposition to religion… continue:

Unintelligent Design – Robyn Williams

Intelligent design has found its way into the headlines, has been spruiked in the Parliament and is now trying to slink into our schools. So where did this wilfully ignorant sibling of creationism and its anti-scientific arguments spring from… continue:

Adams vs God: The Rematch – Phillip Adams

Phillip Adams says he stopped believing in God at the age of six. At sixty-eight he has gathered the best of his essays on God and godlessness into this bible-banging, irreverent book.”Adams v God: The Rematch” takes up where his 1985 book “Adams v God” left off, bringing us right up to date…continue:


Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists – Dan Barker

After almost 20 years of evangelical preaching, missionizing, and Christian songwriting, Dan Barker “threw out the bathwater and discovered that there is no baby.” Continue:

Dan Barker’s presentation at The Rise of Atheism Conference in Melbourne in March 2010 was a… revelation… to some lifetime atheists.  The mindset and thought patterns of an Evangelical Christian are totally foreign to many atheists, like listening to another language.

Letters to a Young Contrarian – Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens bemoans the loss of the skills of dialectical thinking evident in contemporary society. He understands the importance of disagreement…

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God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything – Christopher Hitchens

With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion.

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The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever – Christopher Hitchens

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of God Is Not Great, a provocative and entertaining guided tour of atheist and agnostic thought through the ages–with never-before-published pieces by Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali…

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God Delusion, The – Richard Dawkins

“The God Delusion” caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion…

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Greatest Show on Earth, The – Richard Dawkins

It is no accident that we see green almost wherever we look. It is no accident that we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life; no accident that we are surrounded by millions of other species, eating…

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Selfish Gene, The (30th Anniversary Ed) – Richard Dawkins

The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages. This 30th anniversary edition includes a new introduction from the author…

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God the Failed Hypothesis by Victor Stenger

Treating the traditional God concept, as conventionally presented in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, like any other scientific hypothesis, Stenger examines all of the claims made for God’s existence. He considers the latest Intelligent Design arguments as evidence of God’s influence in biology. He looks at human behavior for evidence of immaterial souls and the possible effects of prayer.

Society Without God by Phil Zuckerman

Before he began his recent travels, it seemed to Phil Zuckerman as if humans all over the globe were “getting religion” – praising deities, performing holy rites, and soberly defending the world from sin. But most residents of Denmark and Sweden, he found, don’t worship any god at all, don’t pray, and don’t give much credence to religious dogma of any kind. Instead of being bastions of sin and corruption, however, as the Christian Right has suggested a godless society would be, these countries are filled with residents who score at the very top of the “happiness index” and enjoy their healthy societies, which boast some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the world (along with some of the lowest levels of corruption), excellent educational systems, strong economies, well-supported arts, free health care, egalitarian social policies, outstanding bike paths, and great beer.

50 Voices of Disbelief by Russell Blackford & Udo Shuklenk (eds)

“50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists” presents a collection of original essays drawn from an international group of prominent voices in the fields of academia, science, literature, media and politics who offer carefully considered statements of why they are atheists. It features a truly international cast of contributors, ranging from public intellectuals such as Peter Singer, Susan Blackmore, and A.C. Grayling, novelists, such as Joe Haldeman, and heavyweight philosophers of religion, including Graham Oppy and Michael Tooley.

Does God Hate Women by Jeremy Stangroom and Ophelia Benson

The new book from high profile philosophy writers Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom (authors of the hugely successful “Why Truth Matters”), exploring a topical and controversial religious and cultural issue in a highly accessible manner.This fascinating book explores the role that religion and culture play in the oppression of women. Philosophy writers Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom ask probing questions about the way that religion shields the oppression of women from criticism and why many Western liberals, leftists and feminists have remained largely silent on the subject.


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