Liam Jerrold Fraser

Edinburgh, Scotland

Liam Jerrold Fraser

Edinburgh, Scotland

https://edinburgh.academia.edu/LiamJerroldFraser

My doctoral research investigates New Atheist and Protestant Fundamentalist thought in Britain and America, and argues that these apparently irreconcilable movements share a common intellectual structure, and derive from a common theological and philosophical source.

I trace this shared heritage back to Restoration England, and the hermeneutical and natural-theological strategies developed to stabilise English Protestantism after the crisis of authority inaugurated by the Reformation. While these strategies for preserving Protestantism were successful for a time, their ambiguity, and the social and political context of the age, gave rise to their own negation, and to the rise of anti-Christian forms of thought. The danger to Protestant culture from these new forms of thought gave rise to further philosophical and theological strategies to halt their advance, a movement that would eventually issue in Fundamentalism and Creationism.

As British and American atheism and Protestant Fundamentalism derive from a common source, the intellectual structure of each mirrors the other, and issues in a common conception of the Christian faith, the reading of Scripture, and the relation of science and religion. By revealing this common heritage and shared intellectual structure, the problem of religion in Western society is elucidated, and resources are uncovered for the repair of Protestant Christianity, and its relationship to the secular world.