Friday, September 13, 2013

Richard Dawkins interview: 'I have a certain love for the Anglican tradition'

From The Spectator-

‘You owe me an apology,’ Richard Dawkins informs me. It is a bright Oxford morning and we are sitting in his home. His wife has just made me coffee and I have met their new puppies. I am here to discuss a new book of his, but he is smarting from a disobliging reference to him in a recent one of mine. That, and an earlier encounter I wrote about here, have clearly rankled. I try a very limited apology. But it does strike me that Dawkins is more easily bruised than one might have imagined. I wonder if it has anything to do with the deluge of criticism he attracts, provokes and possibly unwisely takes notice of on social media. ‘Do you feel beleaguered?’ I ask. ‘Do you?’ he fires straight back.

The sensitivity comes across in An Appetite for Wonder: the Making of a Scientist, the first of a projected two-volume autobiography. In this surprisingly charming memoir, Dawkins seems especially keen to pre-empt any critics who will attack him for his fortunate background and privileged education — Oundle School and Oxford. ‘Have you met the phrase “check your privilege”?’ he asks.

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