“My Path to Atheism” by Annie Besant
My Path to Atheism is a remarkable document in many ways, not least that it was written by a woman in Victorian England, not the most open free-thinking of societies, especially for women at that time.
It needed a remarkable woman to write such a revolutionary and to 19th century minds, heretical document in a society where the Church had such a stronghold.
She went on to become a member of the National Secular Society and thence to co-edit the National Reformer, which put forth ideas on revolutionary ideas at the time such as trades unions, national education, birth control and so on.
Besant herself was originally married to a clergyman, but her increasingly anti-religious views and writings led to a legal separation.
In 1877 Besant published this book ‘My Path to Atheism’ which was compiled from a series of lectures in which she surgically dissects the basic tenets of Christianity. As one reads the chapters, one can follow the evolution of her ideas from Theism to Atheism, ending up with a stunning refutation of the Church of England Catechism.