- (Photo: REUTERS/Altaf Hussain)
Atheist intellectual and author Richard Dawkins has stated in a recent interview that he considers himself a "Cultural Anglican" and has a "certain love" for some church traditions.
The bestselling author of the book The God Delusion recently told the Spectator that he sees himself as a "Cultural Anglican," saying he enjoys certain elements of the tradition in question.
"I sort of suspect that many who profess Anglicanism probably don't believe any of it at all in any case but vaguely enjoy, as I do," said Dawkins.
"I suppose I'm a cultural Anglican and I see evensong in a country church through much the same eyes as I see a village cricket match on the village green…I have a certain love for it."
Dawkins also mentioned his view that even though he is an atheist he is "in favour of educating people" about the Bible.
"European history you can't begin to understand without knowing about the perennial hostility between Catholics and Protestants so I suppose for history we need to," said Dawkins.
"But I don't buy the feeling that because we have Christian faith schools we therefore have to have Buddhist and Muslim and Hindu faith schools as well."
Dawkins' recent remark echo older ones the author has made in the past, including a 2007 interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation.
"This is historically a Christian country. I'm a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims," said Dawkins.
"So, yes, I like singing carols along with everybody else. I'm not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history."
Dawkins' remarks about his cultural affinity for Anglicanism come as the first part of his two-volume autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder: the Making of a Scientist, will be released later this month.
"He paints a vivid picture of his idyllic childhood in colonial Africa, peppered with sketches of his colorful ancestors, charming parents, and the peculiarities of colonial life right after World War II," reads the Amazon.com description.
"At boarding school, despite a near-religious encounter with an Elvis record, he began his career as a skeptic by refusing to kneel for prayer in chapel. Despite some inspired teaching throughout primary and secondary school, it was only when he got to Oxford that his intellectual curiosity took full flight."
As part of the recent interviews Dawkins has made, he recently garnered controversy for claiming that some forms of pedophilia are "mild" and do not cause "lasting harm."
"I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can't find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today," said Dawkins.