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Media & Reviews
Nonfiction Books

The following are selected works for further study. While space constraints prevent listing every possible book under each category, this bibliography attempts to list what the editor considers the best contemporary books for each topic. While this bibliography is slanted in favor of atheism, the editor has selected one or two books under each category that present an anti-atheistic viewpoint. Books are categorized as:
    (B) basic
    (I) intermediate
    (A) advanced
    (*) highly recommended

Many of the books listed below are available from If you follow the links provided to buy books from Barnes And Noble, you'll be helping to support Internet Infidels and The Secular Web.

Logical Reasoning

Copi, Irving M. Introduction to Logic (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2002).

A classic reference work on logic. Begins with the absolute basics, but quickly progresses to the more arcane details. Clear and readable, and suitable as a reference work as well as an introduction.

Flew, Antony. How to Think Straight (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1998).

A readable introduction to logical reasoning. Originally published as "Thinking About Thinking".

Schick, Theodore and Lewis Vaughn. How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age (2nd ed., Mayfield, 1998).

An introduction to critical thinking.

*Skyrms, Brian. Choice & Chance: An Introduction to Inductive Logic (Belmont: Wadsworth, 1999). (I)

Widely considered the best introduction to inductive logic.

Weston, Anthony. A Rulebook for Arguments (3rd ed., Indianapolis: Hackett, 2000). (B)

A brief introduction to writing and assessing arguments.


Introduction to Atheism

Angeles, Peter, ed. Critiques of God (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1997). (B)

A good but dated anthology of atheist phil. of religion.

---. The Problem of God (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1981). (B)

Interesting but incomplete intro. to phil. of religion.

*Barker, Dan. Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist (Madison: Freedom From Religion Foundation, 1992). (B)

A very popular introduction to atheism.

Everitt, Nicholas. The Non-Existence of God (Routledge, 2004).

In this book, Nicholas Everitt reconsiders all of the major arguments for proving the existence of God and defends arguments for the non-existence of God.

Krueger, Doug. What Is Atheism? A Short Introduction (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1998). (B)

A very readable introduction to atheism.

*Le Poidevin, Robin. Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (New York: Routledge, 1996). (I)

A excellent, current, but incomplete introduction to atheism.

*Mackie, J.L. The Miracle of Theism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981). (I)

An excellent, if somewhat dated, introduction to atheism.

*Martin, Michael. Atheism: A Philosophical Justification (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990). (A)

A scholarly introduction to atheism.

*Parsons, Keith. God and the Burden of Proof (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1989). (B)

An overpriced but excellent, readable introduction to atheism and the burden of proof.

Rowe, William. Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction (Belmont: Wadsworth, 2000). (B)

Interesting but incomplete introduction to philosophy of religion.

*Smith, George. Atheism: The Case Against God (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1980). (B)

The most popular book on atheism in the world. Describes the positions of atheism, theism and agnosticism. Reviews many of the arguments used in favor of the existence of God. Concludes with an assessment of the impact of God on people's lives.

---. Why Atheism? (Buffalo: Prometheus, 2001). (I)

Smith continues his defense of atheism.

Argument from Evil

Adams, Marilyn McCord and Robert Merrihew Adams. The Problem of Evil (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991). (I)

A good but somewhat dated collection of essays on the argument from evil.

*Drange, Theodore. Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1998). (I)

Very thorough defense of nonbelief and evil as evidence for atheism.

*Howard-Snyder, Daniel, ed. The Evidential Argument from Evil (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1996). (A)

The definitive book on the evidential argument from evil, this anthology contains essays by leading philosophers of religion.

*Martin, Michael. Atheism: A Philosophical Justification (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990). (A)

Contains several detailed chapters on the argument from evil.

O'Connor, David. God and Inscrutable Evil: In Defense of Theism and Atheism (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997). (A)

A very technical discussion of the argument from evil.

Rowe, William, ed. God and the Problem of Evil (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2001).

Another collection of essays on the problem of evil, including essays by Rowe, Draper, and Schellenberg.

Swinburne, Richard. Providence and the Problem of Evil (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). (I)

Swinburne's explanation for why a loving God allows so much human suffering.

Weisberger, Andrea. Suffering Belief: Evil and the Anglo-American Defense of Theism (New York: Peter Lang, 1999). (I)

An atheistic defense of the argument from evil.

Arguments from Divine Hiddenness and Nonbelief

*Drange, Theodore. Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1998). (I)

Very thorough defense of nonbelief and evil as evidence for atheism.

*Howard-Snyder, Daniel and Paul K. Moser. Divine Hiddenness: New Essays (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002). (I)

This anthology contains a number of essays for and against divine hiddenness as evidence for atheism.

*Schellenberg, J.L. Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993). (I)

If there is a God, why is his existence not more obvious? Schellenberg argues that divine hiddenness is evidence for atheism.

Argument from Mind-Brain Dependence

Blackmore, Susan. Dying to Live: Near-Death Experiences (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1993).

A thorough survey of the scientific evidence and literature.

Brown, Warren, Nancey Murphy, and H. Newton Malony, eds. Whatever Happened to the Soul? Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature (Fortress Press, 1998).

Three Christian authors are forced to admit mind-brain dependence.

Dannett, Daniel. Consciousness Explained (Little Brown & Company, 1991).

An exploration, analysis, an examination of consciousness.

*Edwards, Paul, ed. Immortality (New York: Macmillan, 1992). (I)

A compilation of numerous authors, ancient and modern, who address the question of whether or not there is a life after death.

*Humphrey, Nicholas. Leaps of Faith: Science, Miracles, and the Search for Supernatural Consolation (Basic Books, 1996). (I)

Discusses the evidence for the existence of souls.

Anti-Atheistic Arguments


Gale, Richard. On the Nature and Existence of God (Cambridge University Press, 1991). (A)

Gale's book is introduced as a critical response to the analytic arguments offered by Plantinga, Swinburne, Alston, and others.

*Mackie, J.L. The Miracle of Theism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981). (I)

An excellent, if somewhat dated, introduction to atheism.

*Martin, Michael. Atheism: A Philosophical Justification (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990). (A)

Detailed refutations of numerous anti-atheistic arguments.

Rowe, William. Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction (Belmont: Wadsworth, 2000). (B)

Excellent, balanced, and concise intro to philosophy of religion.

*Swinburne, Richard. The Existence of God (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991). (I)

This book is the best contemporary defense of theism. All nontheists should be familiar with this book.

Cosmological Argument

*Craig, William Lane and Quentin Smith. Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996). (A)

An interesting series of exchanges between Craig (Christian) and Smith (atheist) over the kalam cosmological argument for theism, Smith's atheistic cosmological argument, and the implications of Stephen Hawking's cosmology.

*Craig, William Lane. The Kalam Cosmological Argument (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1979). (I)

Craig's classic defense of the kalam cosmological argument.

Hawking, Stephen. A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam Books, 1988). (I)

Where did the universe come from? How and why did it begin? Will it come to an end, and if so, how? One of the leading theoretical physicists attempts to answer these fundamental questions in a way the general public can understand.

Leslie, John, ed. Modern Cosmology & Philosophy (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1999). (A)

Contains chapter on the implications of big bang cosmology for the existence or nonexistence of God.

Rowe, William. The Cosmological Argument (Fordham University Press, 1998).

Respected philosopher Willam Rowe provides a comphrensive, critical study of the cosmological argument for God's existence.

Teleological Argument

1. Cosmological Design (aka the Fine-Tuning Argument)

Barrow, John D. and Frank Tipler. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). (A)

A very comprehensive discussion of the anthropic cosmological principle.

Davies, Paul. The Accidental Universe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982). (B)

Contains a "soft" defense of the fine-tuning argument.

---. The Mind of God (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992). (B)

Defends the idea that the universe exists for a purpose.

*Drees, William. Beyond the Big Bang: Quantum Cosmologies and God (La Salle, Ill.: Open Court, 1990). (I)

Drees is a theologian who does not find the fine-tuning argument convincing.

Ferris, Timothy. The Whole Shebang (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997). (I)

Contains a "Contrarian Theological Afterword, " in which "God, questioned about cosmological matters, responds with his customary silence."

Gribbin, John and Martin Rees. Cosmic Coincidences (New York: Bantam Books, 1989). (B)

*Leslie, John, ed. Modern Cosmology & Philosophy (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1998). (A)

Contains chapters on the alleged 'fine-tuning' of the universe, including a chapter by Richard Swinburne.

*Leslie, John. Universes (New York : Routledge, 1989). (I)

An influential defense of the fine-tuning by a Platonic theist.

*Stenger, Victor. Has Science Found God?, (Buffalo: Prometheus, forthcoming). (B)

Contains an extensive critical discussion of the fine-tuning argument.

---. Timeless Reality (Buffalo: Prometheus, 2000). (I)

---. The Unconscious Quantum: Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1995). (I)

Contains a chapter on the fine-tuning argument.

*Swinburne, Richard. The Existence of God (revised ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991). (I)

The revised edition of this book contains a rigorous formulation of the fine-tuning argument in an appendix.

2. Biological Design

Berra, Tim. Evolution and the Myth of Creationism (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990). (B)

A very readable introduction to the flaws in creationist arguments.

*Behe, Michael. Darwin's Black Box (New York: Free Press, 1996). (I)

This is an original formulation of the design argument that is not reducible to William Paley's classic 'watchmaker' argument. Behe argues that Darwinian evolution cannot account for irreducibly complex biochemical structures.

*Dawkins, Richard. The Blind Watchmaker (New York: Norton, 1986). (I)

A classic book which explains evolutionary biology in an approachable style. Dawkins puts forth the case against the Argument From Design clearly and concisely. You have probably seen arguments from this book before, but it's not only "right", it's very well written, and worth reading even if you think you know about evolution.

Eldredge, Niles. The Triumph of Evolution... And the Failure of Creationism (New York: W.H. Freeman, 2000).

Futuyma, Douglas. Science on Trial (Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer Associates, 1995). (I)

A classic refutation of creationism, this book is somewhat outdated since it does not address the arguments of 'intelligent design' creationists.

Godfrey, Laurie R. Scientists Confront Creationism (New York: W.W. Norton, 1983). (I)

This (somewhat dated) anthology contains refutations of creationism by leading scientists.

Johnson, Phillip E. Darwin on Trial (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway, 1991). (I)

A U.C. Berkeley Law Professor's case against Darwinian evolution. See Pennock 1999 for a decisive rebuttal.

Kauffman, Stuart. At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). (I)

A naturalistic explanation for self-organization and complexity.

Kitcher, Philip. Abusing Science (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1982). (I)

A very forceful refutation of creationism by a top-notch philosopher of science.

Miller, Kenneth. Finding Darwin's God (New York: Cliff Street Books, 1999). (I)

A hard-hitting response to intelligent design creationists by a Catholic biologist.

Montagu, Ashley. Science and Creationism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984). (I)

Another somewhat dated anthology by scientists refuting creationism.

*Moreland, J.P. The Creation Hypothesis (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1994). (I)

This anthology contains essays which defend intelligent design creationism. Topics include the origin of life, the origin of major groups of organisms, the origin of human language, and the origin and formation of the universe

National Academy of Sciences. Science and Creationism : A View from the National Academy of Sciences (2nd ed., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1999). (B)

A short and sweet presentation of the scientific facts which confirm evolution.

*Pennock, Robert T, ed. Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001). (I)

Contains articles by intelligent design creationists and their critics.

*Pennock, Robert T. Tower of Babel: the Evidence Against the New Creationism (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999). (I)

A decisive refutation of intelligent design creationist Phillip Johnson.

Strahler, Arthur. Science and Earth History: the Evolution/Creation Controversy (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1999). (I)

An encyclopedia of creationist errors, distortions, and fallacies. Despite the 'new' edition, however, this book is still outdated and does not contain enough material addressing so-called 'intelligent design' creationism.

Morality and the Meaning of Life

Arnhart, Larry. Darwinian Natural Right: the Biological Ethics of Human Nature (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1998). (A)

Sophisticated defense of an Aristotelian view of ethics based on human biology.

Brink, David. Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989). (A)

Sophisticated defense of moral realism.

Byrne, Peter. The Moral Interpretation of Religion (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1998). (I)

Contains an excellent chapter on moral arguments for theism.

---. The Philosophical and Theological Foundations of Ethics: an Introduction to Moral Theory and Its Relation to Religious Belief (2nd ed., New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999). (I)

Excellent overview of relationship between religion & ethics.

Ellin, Joseph. Morality and the Meaning of Life (Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1995). (B)

Excellent introduction to morality and the meaning of life.

*Glover, Jonathan. Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century (London: J. Cape, 1999). (B)

Fascinating philosophical, historical, and psychological discussion of 20th century moral atrocities.

Klemke, E.D. The Meaning of Life (2nd ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). (I)

Great collection of essays on the meaning of life.

Kurtz, Paul. Embracing the Power of Humanism (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000). (I)

Introduction to secular humanist morality.

*Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. (B)

Contains a chapter entitled, "Right and Wrong: Clue to the Meaning of the Universe," which defends a moral argument for the existence of God. See Beversluis 1985 for a decisive rebuttal.

*Mackie, J.L. Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong (New York: Penguin, 1977). (I)

The best defense of ethical subjectivism.

Martin, Michael. Atheism, Morality, and Meaning, (Buffalo: Prometheus, forthcoming May 2002).

Nielsen, Kai. Ethics Without God (Rev. ed., Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1990). (I)

A weak 'introduction' to ethics without God.

---. Why Be Moral? (Buffalo, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1989). (A)

Interesting compilation of essays on the question, "Why Be Moral?"

Pojman, Louis. Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong (4th ed., Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2002). (B)

Excellent introduction to ethics.

*Rachels, James. Created from Animals: the moral implications of Darwinism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). (I)

This unique book contains a fascinating discussion of the ethical implications of Darwinism by one of the world's leading moral philosophers.

---. The Elements of Moral Philosophy (3rd ed., Boston: McGraw-Hill College, 1999). (B)

An elegant, highly readable introduction to ethics.

*Sagi and Statman, Avi. Religion and Morality (Atlanta: Rodopi, 1995). (I)

The best book available on religion and morality.

Smith, Tara. Viable Values: a Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000). (I)

Sophisticated, interesting defense of nonhedonistic ethical egoism.

*Smith, Quentin. Ethical and Religious Thought in Analytic Philosophy of Language (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1997). (A)

Excellent defense of atheistic moral realism.

*Wielenberg, Erik J. Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005). (I)

Wielenberg argues that even if God does not exist, human life can have meaning, we do have moral obligations, and virtue is possible.

Miracles (see also the "Christianity" section, below)

Beversluis, John. C.S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmanns, 1985), pp. 58-83. (I)

Coady, C.A.J. Testimony: A Philosophical Study (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995). (A)

A philosophical exploration of the nature of testimony and how it might be a form of knowledge.

*Hume, David. Of Miracles (La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1985).

Contains an introduction by philosopher Antony Flew, widely regarded as the leading contemporary proponent of Hume's view on miracles.

*Lewis, C.S. Miracles (London: the Centenary Press, 1947). (B)

A very popular defense of miracles. See Beversluis 1985 for a decisive rebuttal to this and other books by Lewis.

*Loftus, Elizabeth. Eyewitness Testimony (Harvard University Press, 1996). (I)

Presents the psychological case against the reliability of the eyewitness.

Mackay, Charles. Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds (Crown, 1995). (I)

*Parsons, Keith. Science, Confirmation, and the Theistic Hypothesis (1986). (A)

Adopts a Bayesian approach to evaluating miracle claims.

*Swinburne, Richard. The Concept of Miracle (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1970).

Religious Experience

Babinski, Edward T., ed. Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1995). (B)

*Draper, Paul R. "God and Perceptual Evidence" International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion 32 (1992), 149-165. (A)

The decisive refutation of the argument from religious experience.

*James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience (New York: Modern Library, 1902).

Otto, Rudolf. The Idea of the Holy (trans. J.W. Harvey, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1923).

The Biology and Psychology of Belief

Alper, Matthew. The "God" Part of the Brain (Boulder, Colo.: Rogue, 2001).

Argues that humans are hard-wired by evolution to believe in God.

*Guthrie, Stewart. Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993). (I)

Interesting naturalistic account for the pervasiveness of religion.

Newberg, Andrew B., Eugene G. D'Aquili, and Vince Rause. Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief (Ballantine, 2001). (I)

Argues that humans seek God because our brains are biologically programmed to do so.

Shermer, Michael. How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science (New York: W.H. Freeman, 1999). (I)

Shermer discusses how and why people believe or disbelieve.

Shermer, Michael and Stephen Jay Gould. Why People Believe Weird Things : Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time (New York: W.H. Freeman, 1998).

An anaysis of why people believe 'weird' things, including superstition, UFOs, revisionist history (holocaust denial),

Specific Religions


Note: The literature on Christianity is enormous; it is impossible to create a brief bibliography on Christianity that will satisfy everyone. The focus of this section is to provide a representative sample of the best books that address the historical claims of Christianity.

*Cavin, Roberg Greg and Carlos A. Colombetti. Double Cross: A Logical Approach to the Mystery of Easter, forthcoming. (I)

A very sophisticated, naturalistic explanation for the origins of Christianity and an excellent refutation of apologetic arguments for the historicity of Jesus' alleged resurrection.

*Craig, William Lane. Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1989). (A)

The best defense of Jesus' resurrection available.

Doherty, Earl. The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? (Ottawa: Canadian Humanist Publications, 1999). (I)

A very popular defense of the nonexistence of Jesus.

*Davis, Stephen T. Risen Indeed: Making Sense of the Resurrection (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1993). (I)

An interesting and sophisticated defense of Jesus' resurrection.

Fox, Robin Lane. The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible (New York: Knopf, 1992). (I)

An overview of the history of the Bible as viewed by contemporary Biblical scholars.

Kent, Jack. The Psychological Origins of the Resurrection Myth (London: Open Gate Press, 1999). (I)

A psychological explanation for the origins of the Christian belief in Jesus' resurrection.

Lüdemann, Gerd. The Resurrection of Jesus: History, Experience, and Theology (Minneapolis : Fortress Press, 1994). (A)

Lüdemann argues that Jesus' resurrection is a legend.

*---. What Really Happened to Jesus: A Historical Approach to the Resurrection. (Knoxville: Westminster John Knox Pr, 1996). (I)

A more accessible version of Lüdemann's scholarly Resurrection book.

Martin, Michael. The Case Against Christianity (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991). (A)

A comprehensive critique of Christianity, in which he considers the best contemporary defences of Christianity and (ultimately) demonstrates that they are unsupportable and/or incoherent.

*Paine, Thomas. The Age of Reason (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1985). (B)

Highly influential, easy-to-read Deistic critique of the Bible from one of America's Founding Fathers.

Price, Robert M. Deconstructing Jesus (Buffalo: Prometheus, 2000). (I)

Summarizes recent scholarly trends in New Testament scholarship.

*Price, Robert M. and Jeffery Jay Lowder. The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave (Buffalo: Prometheus, 2005). (I)

An anthology of skeptical essays rebutting recent defenses of the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus by such Christian apologists as Craig Blomberg, William Lane Craig, Stephen T. Davis, James D.G. Dunn, Peter Kreeft, Richard Swinburne, Ronald Tacelli, and N.T. Wright.

*Ranke-Heinemann, Uta. Putting Away Childish Things: The Virgin Birth, the Empty Tomb, and Other Fairy Tales You Don't Need to Believe to Have a Living Faith (San Francisco, Calif.: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994). (B)

A very readable critique of traditional Christian doctrines by a liberal Christian theologian.

Russell, Bertrand. Why I Am Not a Christian (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1957). (B)

Contains an essay by the same name that has been highly influential among atheists. However, since this book does not really address the historical claims of Christianity; it probably would have been more appropriately titled, "Why I Am Not a Theist."

Van Voorst, Robert E. Jesus Outside the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 2000). (I)

A useful discussion of references to Jesus outside the New Testament.

Wells, G.A. The Jesus Legend (La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1996). (I)

A defense of the view that Jesus never existed.

---. The Jesus Myth (La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1998). (I)

Wells modifies his position on the basis of Burton Mack's arguments, conceding that Jesus did exist.


Geisler, Norman and Abdul Saleeb. Answering Islam (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker books, 1993). (I)

A entertaining Christian critique of Islam, in which the Christian authors make many of the same types of objections against Islam that atheists make against Christianity.

Warraq, Ibn, ed. The Origins of the Koran (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1998). (I)

A collection of essays which critically assess the sources of the Koran.

---. The Quest for the Historical Muhammad (Buffalo: Prometheus, 2000). (I)

An anthology of essays that critically consider Islam's claims.

Warraq, Ibn. Why I Am Not a Muslim (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1995). (I)

A hard-hitting critique of Islam from a secular humanist viewpoint.


Brodie, Fawn M. No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (2nd ed., New York : Vintage Books, 1995).

Larson, Stan. Quest for the Gold Plates: Thomas Stuart Ferguson's Archaeological Search for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Freethinker Press in association with Smith Research Associates, 1996).

Madsen, Brigham D. Studies of the Book of Mormon (2nd ed., Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992).

Metcalfe, Brent Lee. New Approaches to the Book of Mormon: Explorations in Critical Methodology (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1993).

Newell, Linda King and Valeen Tippetts Avery. Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith (2nd ed., Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, c1994).

Sillitoe, Linda, Allen Roberst, and Allen Dale Roberts. Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders (2nd ed., Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989).

Van Wagoner, Richard S. Mormon Polygamy : A History (3rd ed., Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992).

Humor / Satire

Bierce, Ambrose

"The Devil's Dictionary"

A classic work which satirizes all sorts of people, but certainly has plenty to say about religion. For example:

FAITH: n., Belief without evidence in what one is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

Pascall, Jeremy

"God: The Ultimate Autobiography"

God gets the chance to put the record straight after being misquoted for so many years. Jeremy Pascall acts as "Holy Ghost Writer".

"In most autobiographies the subject starts at the beginning, but in My case that's tricky. I have no beginning. And, for that matter, I have no end. I'm Infinite. So it makes starting the story difficult. Not to mention ending it. In theory this book could continue indefinitely, which, of course, raises practical difficulties like the immense size of it and the fact that no one would live to read it all the way through. Except Me and that narrows its commercial appeal."

Includes the eleventh commandment, why Adam and Eve were fired from the first Theme Park, Top of the Popes, and so on. Ebury Press, ISBN 0-85223-657-3 (hardback).

"Satan: The Hiss and Tell Memoirs"

The other side of the story, as told by the Prince of Darkness. A great book for the bookshelf if fundies visit.

"Right from the start I intended to set up a rival attraction to Heaven. Somewhere that was not run, as He ran His place, like a boy scouts camp but somewhere you could, if you so wished, scout for camp boys, not to mention willing girls and every animal of every possible gender, all in a constant state of sexual arousal.

Includes the eighth delightful sin, Hades Leisure Park disorder form, and so on. Ebury Press, ISBN 0-85223-766-9 (hardback).

"God: The Ultimate Autobiography" and "Satan: The Hiss and Tell Memoirs" have also been published as a single paperback volume.

The SubGenius Foundation / Rev. Ivan Stang

"The Book of the SubGenius"

The official holy book of the Church of the SubGenius. Read it and prepare for X-day, July 5th 1998, when the flying saucers from Planet X will land. Jehovah-1 the Space God is an alien, and still threatens this planet!

HAS FEAR OF THE UNUSUAL PREVENTED YOU FROM JOINING THE CHURCH OF THE SUBGENIUS? Or, if you are already a member, has Conspiracy harassment kept you from enjoying your full rights as a SubGenius? Do they constantly reinforce your Conspiracy programming by making it financially necessary that you attend endless pink-ins, gatherings of dull blandoid Normalcy Dupes who bore you to death, making you sit there while you secretly daydream of wreaking havoc on their pallid world? Or do they try to intimidate you out of SubGeniusness? For instance, are you having trouble getting a good job, or laid? Is it increasingly difficult for you to "relate"? Is your mail being opened? Have you recently had a Close Call of the Third Kind?"

An unholy mix of profundity and profanity; a satire on religion, or a religion of satire. Simon and Schuster, NY. ISBN 0-671-63810-6.

"Revelation X: The "Bob" Apocryphon"

More rantings from the One True One True Church. Higher quality artwork than the first book, combined with better writing, make this the definitive statement of the principles of the SubGenius. Until he changes his mind.

When you come right down to it, atheism is the only religion that doesn't grossly insult God's intelligence. Why can't the word "God" be just a convenient term for what we'll never know? Why do we have to "know"? Hell, if we KNEW how the trick was done, it wouldn't be IMPRESSIVE anymore!

If it's magic, mystery and grandeur you want, take a real close look at a handful of dirt. You'll find more there than your mind can fully comprehend, if you can truly see its essence. [...] Just FORGET the INVISIBLE BEINGS, and try to FULLY APPRECIATE what's RIGHT UP YOUR NOSE.

Simon and Schuster, NY. ISBN 0-671-77006-3.

Malaclypse the Younger

"Principia Discordia"

The Bible of Discordianism, the worship of Eris, Goddess of Chaos and Confusion.

"A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone and Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns)."

In some ways, Discordianism is the sister church of the Church of the SubGenius. SubGenii and Discordians are everywhere; read their respective Holy Books, and an awful lot more of what you see on the Internet will make sense.

The Principia Discordia is available online, if you know where to look.

Pratchett, Terry

"Small Gods"

What happens when The Great God Om stops being worshipped? Well, he moves a bit further down the celestial hierarchy and becomes... The Small God Om. And if his church is still around, but nobody involved in the organization of the church actually believes any more, well... a small god can get pretty annoyed.

Twain, Mark

"Letters from the Earth", "The War Prayer", ...

Twain wrote a number of rather biting satires showing the inconsistencies of organized religion from within. "If man had created man, he would be ashamed of his performance."