"The principle error of the new atheists lies in their inability to understand religion outside of its simplistic, exoteric, and absolutist connotations. Indeed, the most prominent characteristic of the new atheism—and what most differentiates it from traditional atheism—is its utter lack of literacy in the subject (religion) it is so desperate to refute. After all, religion is as much a discipline to be studied as it is an expression of faith. (I do not write books about, say, biology because I am not a biologist.) Religion, however it is defined, is occupied with transcendence—by which I mean that which lies beyond the manifest world and towards which consciousness is oriented—and transcendence necessarily encompasses certain theological connotations with which one ought to be familiar to properly critique belief in a god."