02/22/2011 03:16 pm ET Updated May 26, 2011

What Is The History Of Modern Atheism?

When the priest asks him why, with his days numbered, he still has not turned to God, Meursault, the death row inmate in Albert Camus's "L'Étranger," exclaims, "I just didn't have the time to interest myself in what didn't interest me." By contrast, a new book introduces us to an array of individuals who, while sharing Meursault's religious nonbelief, most certainly do not share in his insouciance. In The Unbelievers: The Evolution of Modern Atheism, H.P. Lovecraft biographer and "weird fiction" expert S.T. Joshi introduces his text as a "nucleus" for the latest historical phase of religious nonbelief.

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