Origin of The Term

The term “New Atheist” only came into use in the last few years. The origin of the term is often incorrectly attributed to Gary Wolf’s”The Church of Non-Believers.” While Wolf’s article certainly popularized New Atheism, it was Ronald Aronson who first used the term in a 2005 review for Bookforum (Steinfels). In this review, Sam Harris’s End Of Faith is clearly not one of Aronson’s favorites. He is not a fan of Harris’s “zealotry,” “intolerance,” and “all his negative energy,” and the ideal Aronson sets forth for “New Atheists,” is very different from Sam Harris’s style (Aronson). Though Aronson mentions six other books, only Sam Harris’s does well, going on to be a New York Times Bestseller. Thus, it is not until Gary Wolf’s 2006 Wired magazine cover story that New Atheism starts to take shape into what it means today.

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