Saturday, August 22, 2009

The common literary genre of Dan Brown and Richard Dawkins?

Timothy Jenkins from Cambridge has a fascinating article entitled

Closer to Dan Brown than to Gregor Mendel: on Dawkins' The God Delusion

which just appear in the Scottish Journal of Theology.

The abstract reads:
The aim of this paper is to place Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion (2006) within a particular literary genre and, by so doing, to account for certain features of its written style, to identify its structuring claims and to offer an explanation for the popularity it has enjoyed with a broad readership. By offering a description of this kind, I hope to avoid engaging in the polemics which the book both offers and has elicited; the argument is situated at another level. My proposal may seem a surprising one: Dawkins' work comes within a spectrum that includes in its modern forms both science fiction and fantasy literature, a spectrum that uses the products of science to think with, in order to explore human dilemmas. In a word, this is a modern theodicy. I shall begin by sketching out the notion of thinking with science, before turning to characteristic stylistic features of Dawkins' work, and then examining the core claims of the book in the perspective outlined. I shall offer some concluding remarks, but there is little to be said about the author's argument with respect to religion or faith; his topic is a pretext for another kind of exercise.

1 comment:

  1. Must I subscribe to the journal to read the article?