Marxism, Dadaism, Aesthetism, Empiricism, the author identifies these as the intellectual hallmarks of the anti-heroic vision which threatens to dominate the West. We live, he says, in a world without heroes, a world which rarely challenges evolution as the "origin" of all life and where natural selection is sold to the public as if it were our only hope of salvation. Even the faithful are loathe to challenge these ideas, living as they are in an era enervated by materialism in which to be a high-profile Christian means being stereotyped as narrow-minded, unenlightened, and, worst of all, "unscientific".
But Roche denies the anti-heroic vision: life did not, he asserts, simply evolve from dead matter; to believe in evolution without a divine intercessor itself is an act of faith. We cannot, says Roche, deduce a Mother Teresa from the processes of natural selection. Human goodness testifies that man is not merely a beast distinguishable from other species only by his higher intelligence. Moreover, he charges, there is a particular brand of science which has been elevated to a religion. Science with a capital "S", pulling off the greatest hoax of all time by investing itself with an aura of objectivity it does not possess.
The product of careful scholarship and a lifetime of earnest reflection, A World Without Heroes presents a broad and penetrating history of four centuries of cultural, intellectual, scientific, and Christian thought.