As the influence of religion increasingly insinuates itself into society, aided by media messages touting the personal and social advantages of Christian-defined moral virtues, the need to express well-developed criticism of religious propaganda and to support clearly-stated secular ideals assumes a new urgency.
Freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and rationalists will rejoice to discover that Dr. Gordon Stein has returned to the rich history of freethought to compile an impressive collection of powerful and thought-provoking atheist and rationalist literature. A superb complement to his first book, An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism, A Second Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism features twenty essays and twenty-nine samples of atheist and rationalist verse by such masters as G.J. Holyoake, Robert Browning, John Keats, Annie Besant, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, and Charles Bradlaugh, to name but a few. Many of the essays and poems in this exceptional anthology have been out of print or nearly impossible to procure for over 100 years.
In A Second Anthology, Dr. Stein expands the scope of his subject by covering such topics as the so-called “‘Benefits’ of Religion,” “The History of Christianity,” from an atheist perspective, “Atheist and Rationalist Poetry,” “Immortality/Life After Death,” “Debates and Dialogues on Unbelief,” and “Ethics and Unbelief.”
Each major section is prefaced with an informative introduction that sets the tone and presents background information for the essay and/or poems that follow. Short biographical sketches, original source references, and suggestions for further reading are also provided.
Whether it is read as a separate volume or in tandem with its predecessor, this sourcebook brings together the writings of some of the best freethinkers – both classical and contemporary.