Dr Rowan Williams responded to critics of religion by arguing that atheists had missed the point and failed to understand what Christians really believe in.
In a fierce attack on the Oxford professor and other leading atheists, he said: "There are specific areas of mismatch between what Richard Dawkins may write about and what religious people think they are doing."
He added: "There are few things more annoying than people saying 'I know what you mean'." Dr Williams described Prof Dawkins as a "lively and attractive writer" but said his arguments were not fully engaging with religion.
He suggested that Prof Dawkins, the author of the best-selling The God Delusion and a leading Darwinist, was a good scientist but a poor philosopher.
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