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The Agnostic's Tale - A Fragment of Autobiography

A thoughtful investigation into the nature of religious faith, including interviews with Professor Richard Dawkins, Sir Andrew Huxley and Martin Rees.


“Next month, it will be seven years since the death of John Rae: prize-winning novelist, newspaper columnist, public intellectual, regular on Question Time, but probably best remembered as the outspoken headteacher of Westminster (alma mater to the Deputy Prime Minister and many other establishment figures). There was a time when you could hardly turn on your TV or radio and not hear his voice, a national profile that no head since has enjoyed.

The Agnostic’s Tale is an unflinching account of a journey that he undertook in the weeks and months leading up his death when he became increasingly discontented with his lifelong “shoulder-shrugging” on the question of God’s existence. “If I wanted to call myself an agnostic,” he writes, “I would have to find a way to shock or shake my agnosticism into something approaching restless incredulity. And the sooner the better.”

It is an indication of the cachet his name carried that, once he had decided on exploring the question through a series of conversations, Rae had only to pick up the phone to be granted an audience with Nobel Prize-winning scientists, the Astronomer Royal, any number of bishops, atheist par excellence Richard Dawkins, and the Master-General of the Dominican Order, Timothy Radcliffe.”

- Daily Telegraph

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