The book is not out for a few weeks yet, but the July/August edition of The New Humanist includes the first published review of God's Philosophers. And the surprise is that even though The New Humanist is published by the Rationalist Association, they don't hate it. Instead, philosophy lecturer Nina Power from Roehampton University gives it a middling two out of five stars. Her main positive comment:
The course of science never did run smooth, and serious speculation about mathematics went hand-in hand with astrology, alchemy and other discredited forms of pseudo-science (often because more money was to be made in telling fortunes for the rich than by solving equations). Hannam is good on these sorts of details, and as a general introduction to the intricacies of the thought and religious politics of this period, it is a useful guide: the difficulties of reconciling Aristotle's thought with Christian doctrine are particularly well detailed.
And her main negative one (which is as you would expect from The New Humanist):
However, Hannam's deeper motivation, namely to exonerate the Catholic Church from some of the worst excesses of which they stand accused (the persecution of Galileo, the holding back of scientific developments in astronomy, anatomy and physics), leads him to make some extremely convoluted and, at times, very unconvincing arguments. Just because persecution wasn't as bad as it could have been, and just because some thinkers weren't always the nicest of people doesn't mean that interfering in their work and banning their ideas was justifiable then or is justifiable now.
On past form, the review will be available on-line when the next issue of the magazine is out in a couple of months.