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Atheism and Postmodern Philosophies

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Publication date30/09/2021
Host publicationThe Cambridge History of Atheism
Editors Stephen Bullivant, Michael Ruse
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (electronic)9781108562324
<mark>Original language</mark>English


‘Postmodernism’ was once very much in vogue, although it has recently experienced something of an eclipse. This is true in the field of philosophy, as in various other fields, including literature, art, music, architecture, and theology. Initially emerging as a recognized term in the late 1970s, postmodernism became especially prominent in the 1980s, 1990s, and into the new millennium. But although postmodernism in philosophy has given way to various other movements, including new materialism, speculative realism, ‘new Hegelianism’, and revivified forms of Platonism, to name but a few, these new philosophies would have been inconceivable without the postmodernism out of which they emerged. Furthermore, many of what were once the most controversial claims of postmodernism have now been largely accepted and taken as commonplace. In this sense, postmodernism continues to cast long shadows, even at a time when its own name is rarely invoked. The question of its relationship to atheism is a fascinating and ambivalent one, with some seeing postmodernism as inherently atheistic, and others regarding it as undermining and destabilizing all atheistic claims.