St Athanasius (296-373AD) played a very crucial role in church history. At the time when Athanasius was alive the church was debating several of the great dogmas that we hold to this day.
One of the heresies she was fighting was Arianism, which stated that Jesus was not truly God. Unfortunately, this thought had many followers among bishops and priests. Athanasius was successful in fighting against it.
However, the major contribution of Athanasius was one that we would never think of. He saw that in her teaching the church had to develop specific meanings for terms and words so that a Christian writing in one place would mean the same thing as a Christian writing in another.
This brought about uniformity of ideas and thus when a writer put down something about Jesus another Christian in another place knew what he meant.
Such an attitude is still important today especially when writers are trying to bring out new ideas. We mean so many things by words. For example, what does the word "God" mean to you?
The tendency with writers is to make words mean what they want them to mean and this causes many problems when you get down to exact definitions, that is why revelation comes by hearing the word of God, not by just reading it.
I would imagine, and I have no way of knowing this since I never spoke to the man, that Richard Dawkins' idea of God would not really be in line with the Catholic meaning of the term, so when he speaks of God, we are debating on different playing fields.
That is why so often people finish up shouting at each other instead of talking: Athanasius tried to put a stop to that.