Bookmarks Magazine's Reviews > Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

Breaking the Spell by Daniel C. Dennett
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Feb 05, 09


The debate about Daniel C. Dennett's new book has been lively from the get-go. Dennett has already had cause to respond to the New York Times regarding Leon Wielseltier's reduction of his book to "a merry anthology of contemporary superstitions." Wielseltier's charge of scientism ("the view that science can explain all human conditions") is one that Dennett admits wholeheartedly; the author of Consciousness Explained (1991) and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995) just doesn't care to have his philosophy so summarily dismissed as an "ism." In fact, honest criticism about the book is obscured by the attack on Dennett's ideas. Most reviewers concur that Breaking the Spell presents an intriguing argument for the scientific investigation of religion but that the author's difficult prose and prejudices bog it down.

This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

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