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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Deadline time

We've reached deadline time for Voices of Disbelief, so I expect that Udo Schuklenk and I will be working pretty intensely over the next few weeks getting the book into some sort of initial shape.

By the way, please don't write to us submitting an essay unless you're on our list. To get this venture to work, we needed to have as many people as possible committed in advance, so that we could go to publishers saying who was signed up to provide essays if we obtained a contract to do the book. Some people will doubltless drop off as personal or professional circumstances intervene in their lives - that's happened in a couple of cases already, but there's no sign of it happening on any large scale. As of now, we have thirty essays submitted out of the fifty-seven (I think it was) that we were expecting ... which we always thought might end up being more like fifty. Even if quite a few have to drop out, we already have a reserve list of people who've expressed interest and whom we'd dearly like to include if we could find the room.

I'm actually surprised to see that we have thirty essays already. In my experience, most people end up pleading for an extra day or two, rather than delivering well before the deadline, as has happened here with many of our authors. Hopefully, that's an indication of the enthusiasm the project is generating. Of course, there are some who've had to ask for a bit more time, and we understand that that's sometimes necessary. We're all juggling multiple issues in our lives.

If you would have liked to submit an essay, do let me know. Although I can't offer any expectation at all that we could include your work this time around, it would be useful just to know how many people would have been keen to write for such a book. There may be future projects arising from this one, and in any event it's nice to know what allies we have out there who are prepared to speak up in public, expressing their rejection of religion.

4 comments:

Blake Stacey said...

Even if I were famous enough to merit inclusion in such an anthology, I'd probably be the wrong person to ask for an essay. I was raised in a non-observant household, so I didn't really have a religion to turn away from. I did imbibe a certain bit of New Age woo, of the UFOs-and-ley-lines genre, but I left that behind by the time I hit my teens. I could write about all the bad things which have happened to me and failed to drive me to religion, but that might be a little, er, angsty — "emo", as the kids these days might say.

I look forward to seeing the finished product.

stuart peace said...

I always loved this quote from a hero of mine, Joss Whedon:

"If nothing we do really matters then the only thing that matters is what we do. Morality comes from the absence of any grand scheme, not from the presence of any grand scheme."

Robin said...

If you're ever short on writers for this sort of thing, I always enjoy public rejection of my Catholic upbringing :) (I still like the plaid skirts, though.)

Years of teaching philosophy and ethics have made my rejection of religion much more robust and grounded than it was in high school, though the basic incredulity has always been the underlying theme!

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