Writer Christopher Hitchens Dies At 62
President D'Souza Comments on Passing of Debate Opponent
Christopher Hitchens, a prolific writer, debater, and atheist thinker died December 15, 2011 at the age of 62. Hitchens died from complications of the esophageal cancer he was diagnosed with in June of 2010.
During his life, Hitchens was famous for his vitriolic attacks against religion and its adherents. Perhaps his most well-recognized work, God Is Not Great helped to mark Hitchens as one of the great New Atheists of our time. His fierce written attacks on God also led him to spar with notable Christian thinkers, including Dinesh D'Souza, President of The King's College.
The two first met at a debate sponsored by King's in 2007. Held at the New York Ethical Culture Society, the two clashed on topics ranging from ethics and cosmology to the evils perpetrated by Christians and atheists throughout history. It was the first of almost a dozen debates between the two men.
Upon hearing of Hitchens' death, President D'Souza had this to say of the man who would become both an intellectual opponent and personal friend:
“Christopher Hitchens was a terrific guy and over the years became a good friend. We did around ten debates in the past few years and each debate was typically followed by a lengthy conversation about literature, politics, and gossip, accompanied by a rapidly diminishing bottle of wine. It’s hard to think of a better and more enjoyable dinner companion.
Hitchens was like Hemingway in that he was curious about everything and lived life to the fullest. He was a connoisseur of experience (including some exotic experiences such as being beaten by mullahs). Despite his outward joviality, I always sensed a deep sadness in him. I hope that in his last hours he was able to find peace and be reconciled with the God with whom he had an ongoing quarrel.”
In 2008, the College welcomed Mr. Hitchens back to debate theologian Doug Wilson. Mr. Hitchens earned tremendous respect among students of the College for his intellectual honesty and rigor. The College mourns the death of an appreciated intellectual opponent.
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