The Australian Book of Atheism


Over 18 months ago, Warren Bonett and I were having dinner in a pub at Noosa. He said, “I’m thinking of doing a book on Australian atheism.”
I said, “Great idea! I’ll help.”

I hurried home and drew up a long list of possible contributors and Warren pretty well did all the rest!

I can remember Woz and I swapping excited emails as amazing people we’d admired from afar said, “Yes, we’ll contribute!”

I don’t think either of us had any clue just how much work it would involve  and Warren –  with help from his partner, Kirsty Bruce, Karen Stollznow and our friend, Jode –  has done the vast bulk of the work while also running his science-based bookshop Embiggen Books at Noosaville (also online).

There were worried weeks when we wondered whether it would find a publisher and then jubilation when Henry Rosenbloom, the founder of Scribe, contacted Warren personally to accept the book.

Weeks of editing followed and, now that the book is in its final stages, Scribe has announced a publication date of December 2010. Scribe is touting The Australian Book of Atheism as its ‘anti-Christmas’ book.  The book is an anthology of essays from around 35 Australian authors including:

My chapter took months to research and more months to write and polish.  Ambitiously (OK – over ambitiously) it covers the history of Australian atheism and freethought from 1788 to the present.  I was astounded at the amount of material I uncovered – some of it hilariously  funny and some it heart-breakingly sad.  I finished the chapter feeling that this country’s heritage and national identity owes a good deal more to irreligion than to Christianity.

And now, in just a few short months, our book will be on the shelves of  Australia’s major book stores!  I really can’t describe the excitement to see this little idea, hatched over a couple of glasses of wine in a pub, come to fruition!

I do hope my readers will add it to their ‘Mythmas’ list.

Pre-orders can be made now, for a discounted price at Embiggen Books.

Chrys Stevenson


19 August 2010 –  The chapter list for The Australian Book of Atheism has been released. I’m very proud to be in with the first chapter and amongst such prestigious company. Take a look! Pre-orders available now – publication late November/December:

  • Chrys Stevenson [Historian], Felons, Ratbags, Commies and Left-Wing Loonies [The history of Australian atheism]
  • Max Wallace [Australia New Zealand Secular Assoc], The Constitution, Belief and the State
  • Clarence Wright [Lawyer], Religion, and the Law in Australia
  • Robyn Williams [The Science Show, Radio National], A Part-time Atheist
  • Dr Colette Livermore [former Sister of Mercy nun], Atheism: an explanation for the believer
  • Tanya Levin [former Hillsong member, feminist, author People In Glass Houses], Above Rubies
  • Hon. Lee Rhiannon [former MP, Senate candidate], Growing up Atheist
  • David Horton [BA, BSc, MSc, PhD, DLitt – biologist, archaeologist], Agnostics are Nowhere Men
  • Tim Minchin [entertainer], Storm
  • Hugh Wilson [Australian Secular Lobby], Public Education in Queensland
  • Peter Ellerton [Australian Skeptics, Winner of the 2008 Prize for Critical Thinking], Theology is Not Philosophy
  • Professor Graham Oppy [Philosopher of Religion], Evolution vs Creationism in Australian Schools
  • Graeme Lindenmayer [Rationalist Society of Australia], Intelligent Design as a Scientific Theory
  • Kylie Sturgess [Podblack Cat/Token Skeptic], Atheism 2.0
  • Dr Martin Bridgstock [Senior Lecturer, Biomolecular and Physical Sciences], Religion, Fundamentalism & Science
  • Dr Philip Nitschke [Founder/Director Exit International], Atheism & Euthanasia
  • Alex McCullie [blogger, CAE tutor on Atheist Philosophy], Progressive Christianity: A Secular Response
  • Dr Leslie Cannold [Bioethicist], Abortion in Australia
  • Jane Caro [Author, Social Commentator], Why Gods are Man-Made
  • Dr Karen Stollznow, Spiritualism & Pseudoscience
  • Rosslyn Ives [Council of Australian Humanist Societies] Life, Dying & Death
  • Hon. Ian Hunter MLC, Prayers in Australian Parliament
  • Lyn Allison [former Senator], Ever Wondered Why God is a Bloke?
  • Michael Bachelard [Journalist], Politics and The Exclusive Brethren
  • Dr Russell Blackford [Philosopher, co-editor 50 Voices of Disbelief], Free Speech
  • Dr John S Wilkins [Philosopheer], The Role of Secularism in Protecting Religion
  • Warren Bonett [Editor], Why a Book on Atheist Thought in Australia?
  • Dr Robin Craig [Geneticist, Philosopher], Good without God
  • Ian Robinson [Rationalist Society of Australia], Atheism as a Spiritual Path
  • Professor Peter Woolcock [Humanist, Ethicist], Atheism & the Meaning of Life
  • Dr Tamas Pataki [Philosopher], Religion & Violence
  • Dr Adam Hamlin [Neuroscientist], The Neurobiology of Religious Experience
  • Dr Rosemary Lyndall Wemm [Neuropsychologist], The Neurology of Belief


Here, courtesy of Embiggen Books, are some wonderful videos of presentations by Warren Bonett, editor of the Australian Book of Atheism, and Russell Blackford one of the authors.

Gladly’s Book Recommendations

Gladly’s looking forward to a very large pot of honey once those royalties start rolling in!  If you can’t wait until December to read a great book on atheism, try these books which you can order online from  Embiggen Books.

The Australian Book of Atheism edited by Warren Bonett (pre-order now at discounted price)

50 Voices of Disbelief by Udo Shucklenk and Russell Blackford

Hope Endures by Colette Livermore

The Purple Economy:  Supernatural Charities, Tax and the State by Max Wallace

Behind the Exclusive Brethren, Michael Bachelard

Against Religion Tamas Pataki

People in Glass Houses, Tanya Levin

7 thoughts on “The Australian Book of Atheism

  1. Bishop Rick

    Chrys and Warren… what a jolly good idea, well done and thanks.

    I’ll look forward to the release date, and listening to an interview on Late Night Live with ‘the sources’ of this book.

  2. Warren

    I’m just so glad it’s nearly over the line. It’s amazing how of the moment it has become, given that the new atheist prime minister is still championing religious ideas. I can’t wait to send her a copy.

  3. Kirsty Bruce

    You mean I will get my husband back? When was that release date again? In all seriousness though, it has been an incredible experience seeing this book come to life. Just being the chick who has been cheer-leading from the sidelines has made me a better atheist — more informed and less emotional. I cannot wait for this book to kick up the ruckus we all long for. I am so sick of our leaders going squelch under the big toe of the religious noisemakers. Each and every chapter makes me desire that this book be a best-seller (oh and the honey-pot thing Chrys mentioned sounds pretty good too).

  4. Pingback: Sneak Preview – The Australian Book of Atheism « Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear

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