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Faitheist

Faitheist Author Chris Stedman
ISBN-10 9780807014400
Release 2012-11-06
Pages 208
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The story of a former Evangelical Christian turned openly gay atheist who now works to bridge the divide between atheists and the religious The stunning popularity of the “New Atheist” movement—whose most famous spokesmen include Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens—speaks to both the growing ranks of atheists and the widespread, vehement disdain for religion among many of them. In Faitheist, Chris Stedman tells his own story to challenge the orthodoxies of this movement and make a passionate argument that atheists should engage religious diversity respectfully. Becoming aware of injustice, and craving community, Stedman became a “born-again” Christian in late childhood. The idea of a community bound by God’s love—a love that was undeserved, unending, and guaranteed—captivated him. It was, he writes, a place to belong and a framework for making sense of suffering. But Stedman’s religious community did not embody this idea of God’s love: they were staunchly homophobic at a time when he was slowly coming to realize that he was gay. The great suffering this caused him might have turned Stedman into a life-long New Atheist. But over time he came to know more open-minded Christians, and his interest in service work brought him into contact with people from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. His own religious beliefs might have fallen away, but his desire to change the world for the better remained. Disdain and hostility toward religion was holding him back from engaging in meaningful work with people of faith. And it was keeping him from full relationships with them—the kinds of relationships that break down intolerance and improve the world. In Faitheist, Stedman draws on his work organizing interfaith and secular communities, his academic study of religion, and his own experiences to argue for the necessity of bridging the growing chasm between atheists and the religious. As someone who has stood on both sides of the divide, Stedman is uniquely positioned to present a way for atheists and the religious to find common ground and work together to make this world—the one world we can all agree on—a better place. From the Hardcover edition.



Faitheist

Faitheist Author Chris Stedman
ISBN-10 0807014451
Release 2013-10-01
Pages 191
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The story of a former Evangelical Christian turned openly gay atheist who now works to bridge the divide between atheists and the religious. The stunning popularity of the New Atheist movement--whose most famous spokesmen include Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens--speaks to both the growing ranks of atheists as well as their vehement disdain for religion. In Faitheist, Chris Stedman challenges the orthodoxies of this movement and makes a passionate argument that atheists should learn to respect religious identity while remaining secular. Stedman draws on his work organizing interfaith and secular communities, his academic study of religion, and his experiences as a former born-again Christian who struggled with his homosexuality and became, for a time, a New Atheist--until he saw its shortcomings. As someone who has stood on both sides of the divide, Stedman is uniquely positioned to present a way for atheists and the religious to find common ground.



Faitheist

Faitheist Author Chris Stedman
ISBN-10 0807014397
Release 2012
Pages 191
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The story of a former Evangelical Christian turned openly gay atheist who now works to bridge the divide between atheists and the religious and The stunning popularity of the andldquo;New Atheistandrdquo; movementandmdash;whose most famous spokesmen include Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchensandmdash;speaks to both the growing ranks of atheists as well as their vehement disdain for religion. In Faitheist, Chris Stedman challenges the orthodoxies of this movement and makes a passionate argument that atheists should learn to respect religious identity while remaining secular. Stedman draws on his work organizing interfaith and secular communities, his academic study of religion, and his experiences as a former born-again Christian who struggled with his homosexuality and became, for a time, a New Atheistandmdash;until he saw its shortcomings. As someone who has stood on both sides of the divide, Stedman is uniquely positioned to present a way for atheists and the religious to find common ground.



Religion for Atheists

Religion for Atheists Author Alain De Botton
ISBN-10 9780771025990
Release 2012-03-06
Pages 336
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From the author of The Architecture of Happiness, a deeply moving meditation on how we can still benefit, without believing, from the wisdom, the beauty, and the consolatory power that religion has to offer. Alain de Botton was brought up in a committedly atheistic household, and though he was powerfully swayed by his parents' views, he underwent, in his mid-twenties, a crisis of faithlessness. His feelings of doubt about atheism had their origins in listening to Bach's cantatas, were further developed in the presence of certain Bellini Madonnas, and became overwhelming with an introduction to Zen architecture. However, it was not until his father's death -- buried under a Hebrew headstone in a Jewish cemetery because he had intriguingly omitted to make more secular arrangements -- that Alain began to face the full degree of his ambivalence regarding the views of religion that he had dutifully accepted. Why are we presented with the curious choice between either committing to peculiar concepts about immaterial deities or letting go entirely of a host of consoling, subtle and effective rituals and practices for which there is no equivalent in secular society? Why do we bristle at the mention of the word "morality"? Flee from the idea that art should be uplifting, or have an ethical purpose? Why don't we build temples? What mechanisms do we have for expressing gratitude? The challenge that de Botton addresses in his book: how to separate ideas and practices from the religious institutions that have laid claim to them. In Religion for Atheists is an argument to free our soul-related needs from the particular influence of religions, even if it is, paradoxically, the study of religion that will allow us to rediscover and rearticulate those needs. From the Hardcover edition.



Acts of Faith

Acts of Faith Author Eboo Patel
ISBN-10 9780807006313
Release 2010-09-15
Pages 192
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With a new afterword Acts of Faith is a remarkable account of growing up Muslim in America and coming to believe in religious pluralism, from one of the most prominent faith leaders in the United States. Eboo Patel’s story is a hopeful and moving testament to the power and passion of young people—and of the world-changing potential of an interfaith youth movement.



Through the Door of Life

Through the Door of Life Author Joy Ladin
ISBN-10 9780299287337
Release 2012-03-15
Pages 270
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National Jewish Book Award Finalist for Memoir



God is Alive and Well

God is Alive and Well Author Frank Newport
ISBN-10 9781595620637
Release 2013-01-05
Pages 220
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Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport examines religion in America today, reviews just how powerfully intertwined religion is with every aspect of American society, and explores what appears to be religion’s vibrant future in the U.S. — all based on more than a million interviews conducted by Gallup since 2008. Popular books such as The God Delusion have dismissed religion as a delusional artifact of evolution and ancient superstitions. But should millions of Americans’ statements of belief and their behavior be dismissed that quickly? The pattern of religious influence in American society suggests mass consequence rather than mass delusion. In God Is Alive and Well, Frank Newport, Gallup’s Editor-in-Chief, provides a new evidence-based analysis of Americans’ religious beliefs and practices — and bold predictions about religion’s future in the U.S. Most Americans are at least marginally religious, significantly more so than in most developed nations around the world. The majority of Americans believe in God and say that religion is important in their daily lives. And Americans routinely participate in religious rituals. Levels of religious consciousness are not distributed equally. Systematic patterns of differences in religion occur with surprising regularity. An American’s religiosity is very much bound up with social position and geographic space. There is an important interplay between religion and life status factors — age, gender, marital status, having children — and with achieved status distinctions — class, education, income. Those who are most religious are demonstrably different across a wide spectrum of outcomes from those who are not. These include lifestyle choices, social participation, ideology, partisanship, and views on political and social issues. Religion can be the driver for highly disruptive social behaviors, up to and including the taking of human life. Unlike citizens of any other country in the world, Americans group themselves into hundreds of distinct micro religious groups and denominations. These groups are constantly evolving, splitting like amoeba to form new groups. The most common pattern today is the development of the “no name” religious group, consisting of Americans who worship only under the banner of their own nondenominational predilections. These religious groupings are sociologically related to social status, geography, politics, and social and political attitudes. The emotional, non-negotiable bases of religion and the nature of its appeal to the most ultimate of rationales mean that highly religious Americans are one of the most potentially influential groups in society. Religious beliefs provide a foundation for much of today’s American politics. America is and will remain a religious nation, and it is entirely possible that in many ways, religion will be more, rather than less, important in the years ahead. The foundation for God Is Alive and Well is the perspective of science — analyzing what people think, do, and believe about religion. Frank Newport’s distinction as a well-known social scientist and authority on American life, his media experience, and his unique personal history as the son of a Southern Baptist theologian will increase this book’s sales potential. God Is Alive and Well is based in large part on more than a million interviews Gallup has conducted in recent years — interviews that asked Americans about their religion, their religious beliefs, and their religious behavior. The resulting data provide an unparalleled and unprecedented database of information about Americans and their religions. Written for lay readers using a conversational tone, God Is Alive and Well presents new information with an entertaining style.



Life After Faith

Life After Faith Author Philip Kitcher
ISBN-10 9780300210347
Release 2014-10-28
Pages 200
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Although there is no shortage of recent books arguing against religion, few offer a positive alternative—how anyone might live a fulfilling life without the support of religious beliefs. This enlightening book fills the gap. Philip Kitcher constructs an original and persuasive secular perspective, one that answers human needs, recognizes the objectivity of values, and provides for the universal desire for meaningfulness. Kitcher thoughtfully and sensitively considers how secularism can respond to the worries and challenges that all people confront, including the issue of mortality. He investigates how secular lives compare with those of people who adopt religious doctrines as literal truth, as well as those who embrace less literalistic versions of religion. Whereas religious belief has been important in past times, Kitcher concludes that evolution away from religion is now essential. He envisions the successors to religious life, when the senses of identity and community traditionally fostered by religion will instead draw on a broader range of cultural items—those provided by poets, filmmakers, musicians, artists, scientists, and others. With clarity and deep insight, Kitcher reveals the power of secular humanism to encourage fulfilling human lives built on ethical truth.



God Revised

God Revised Author Galen Guengerich
ISBN-10 9781137356116
Release 2013-05-28
Pages 240
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Over the past few decades, the ever-expanding scientific knowledge of the universe and the human condition, combined with the evolution from religion-based to personal morality, has led to a mass crisis of faith. Leaders of most Protestant and Catholic religious traditions, which include nearly 80 percent of Americans, have watched their memberships stagnate or dwindle. Over the years, philosophers and scientists have argued that science has in fact "killed" God, and that if we believe the facts science has presented, we must also accept that God is fiction. Others, holding fast to their long-standing doctrines, attempt to justify their beliefs by using God to explain gaps in scientific knowledge. Having left an upbringing in a family of Mennonite preachers to discover his own experience of God, Galen Guengerich understands the modern American struggle to combine modern world views with outdated religious dogma. Drawing upon his own experiences, he proposes that just as humanity has had to evolve its conception of the universe to coincide with new scientific discoveries, we are long overdue in evolving our concept of God. Gone are the days of the magical, supernatural deity in the sky who visits wrath upon those who have not followed his word. Especially in a scientific age, we need an experience of a God we can believe in—an experience that grounds our morality, unites us in community, and engages us with a world that still holds more mystery than answers.



The Last Pope

The Last Pope Author Robert Howells
ISBN-10 9781780286242
Release 2013-06-20
Pages 304
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Nearly a thousand years ago the Archbishop of Armagh, later canonised as St Malachy, made a series of prophecies that were hidden in the Vatican for 400 years. His predictions gave clues to the identities of the 109 Popes from medieval times to present day, including the final Pope who would oversee the end of the Papacy and the fall of the Roman Catholic Church. The Last Pope examines the sudden 'rediscovery' of these prophecies in the 16th century and how they may have been used as propaganda in the campaign to promote Pope Gregory XIV to the papal throne. The book also explores the claim that the prophecies are forgeries. Ultimately, they stand or fall by their accuracy (after the time of their rediscovery), and there are many examples where, even in recent years, they have proven to be entirely correct. With Pope Benedict XVI we may have reached the penultimate Pope. According to the prophecies of St Malachy, the next Pope will be the last. In the final prophecy, St Malachy describes the last Pope as 'Peter the Roman'. By deduction, Robert Howells has identified which Cardinals are likely to be present at the next Vatican Conclave to choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. A favourite among them is a candidate who can readily be identified as 'Peter the Roman'. If he comes to power he may yet prove Malachy right, and oversee the fall of Rome and the destruction of the Catholic Church.



I Sold My Soul on eBay

I Sold My Soul on eBay Author Hemant Mehta
ISBN-10 0307499499
Release 2009-02-19
Pages 224
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Unique insights from an atheist’s Sunday-morning odyssey When Hemant Mehta was a teenager he stopped believing in God, but he never lost his interest in religion. Mehta is “the eBay atheist,” the nonbeliever who auctioned off the opportunity for the winning bidder to send him to church. The auction winner was Jim Henderson, a former pastor and author of Evangelism Without Additives. Since then, Mehta has visited a variety of church services–posting his insightful critiques on the Internet and spawning a positive, ongoing dialogue between atheists and believers. I Sold My Soul on eBay tells how and why Mehta became an atheist and features his latest church critiques, including descriptions of his visits to some of the best-known churches in the country. His observations will surprise and challenge you, revealing how the church comes across to those outside the faith. Who better than a nonbeliever to offer an eye-opening assessment of how the gospel is being presented–and the elements that enhance or detract from the presentation. Mehta announced prior to his churchgoing odyssey that he would watch for any signs of God’s existence. After spending Sunday mornings in some of the nation’s leading churches, what happened to the man who sold his soul on eBay? Did attending church change his lack of belief? The answers can be found inside. From the Trade Paperback edition.



Interreligious Studies

Interreligious Studies Author Oddbjà ̧rn Leirvik
ISBN-10 9781472533944
Release 2014-02-13
Pages 192
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The notion of Interreligious Studies signals a new academic perspective on the study of religion, characterized by a relational approach. Interreligious Studies defines the essential features of interreligious studies compared with alternative conceptions of religious studies and theology. The book discusses pressing and salient challenges in interreligious relations, including interreligious dialogue in practice and theory, interfaith dialogue and secularity, confrontational identity politics, faith-based diplomacy, the question of interfaith learning in school, and interreligious responses to extremism. Interreligious Studies is a cutting-edge study from one of the most important voices in Europe in the field, Oddbjà ̧rn Leirvik, and includes case study material from his native Norway including interreligious responses to the bomb attack in Norway on 22nd July 2011, as well as examples from a number of other national and global contexts Expanding discussions on interreligious dialogue and the relationship between religions in new and interesting ways, this book is a much-needed addition to the growing literature on interreligious studies.



Faith Ed

Faith Ed Author Linda K. Wertheimer
ISBN-10 9780807055274
Release 2016-08-11
Pages 232
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An intimate cross-country look at the new debate over religion in the public schools A suburban Boston school unwittingly started a firestorm of controversy over a sixth-grade field trip. The class was visiting a mosque to learn about world religions when a handful of boys, unnoticed by their teachers, joined the line of worshippers and acted out the motions of the Muslim call to prayer. A video of the prayer went viral with the title "Wellesley, Massachusetts Public School Students Learn to Pray to Allah." Charges flew that the school exposed the children to Muslims who intended to convert American schoolchildren. Wellesley school officials defended the course, but also acknowledged the delicate dance teachers must perform when dealing with religion in the classroom. Courts long ago banned public school teachers from preaching of any kind. But the question remains: How much should schools teach about the world's religions? Answering that question in recent decades has pitted schools against their communities. Veteran education journalist Linda K. Wertheimer spent months with that class, and traveled to other communities around the nation, listening to voices on all sides of the controversy, including those of clergy, teachers, children, and parents who are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Sikh, or atheist. In Lumberton, Texas, nearly a hundred people filled a school-board meeting to protest a teacher's dress-up exercise that allowed freshman girls to try on a burka as part of a lesson on Islam. In Wichita, Kansas, a Messianic Jewish family's opposition to a bulletin-board display about Islam in an elementary school led to such upheaval that the school had to hire extra security. Across the country, parents have requested that their children be excused from lessons on Hinduism and Judaism out of fear they will shy away from their own faiths. But in Modesto, a city in the heart of California's Bible Belt, teachers have avoided problems since 2000, when the school system began requiring all high school freshmen to take a world religions course. Students receive comprehensive lessons on the three major world religions, as well as on Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and often Shintoism, Taoism, and Confucianism. One Pentecostal Christian girl, terrified by "idols," including a six-inch gold Buddha, learned to be comfortable with other students' beliefs. Wertheimer's fascinating investigation, which includes a return to her rural Ohio school, which once ran weekly Christian Bible classes, reveals a public education system struggling to find the right path forward and offers a promising roadmap for raising a new generation of religiously literate Americans.



Wake Sleeper

Wake  Sleeper Author Bryan Parys
ISBN-10 149820788X
Release 2015-10-08
Pages 190
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In 1987, when Bryan Parys was four years old, his father Alfred pressed record on a tape player next to his hospital bed. He began leaving messages for his wife, three children, and anyone who wanted to know why his terminal cancer at age thirty-eight wouldn't shake his faith. ""If God told me to walk into a fiery furnace, I'd do it,"" he said, perhaps knowing that he would not walk back out. In Wake, Sleeper, Parys tries to understand his father's deathbed fire in the context of a Christian childhood that taught him about eternity. Unspoken feelings of doubt lead Parys toward an inner life where he is allowed to question, provoke, and search for beauty in the void of grief. Through the lens of his upbringing in a Christian school and the church that met in the school gymnasium, that inner voice emerges in Wake, Sleeper. The grief of his past contrasts with the tension of his search to fit in, told as a lyrical and often humorous meditation on time. ""Wake, Sleeper is a compelling articulation of the depths of grief, faith, doubt, and reckoning . . . Parys's stylistic attention and willful experimentation define and honor the personal history he so deftly renders. Full of blistering disquiet and sincere affection, this fantastic debut begs us to keep our eyes open and rise up with it."" --Dave Harrity, author of Our Father in the Year of the Wolf ""Christian Wiman has written about 'trying to learn how to inhabit time so completely that there might be no distinction between life and belief, attention and devotion.' In these illuminating essays, Bryan Parys renders the vivid details of his coming of age in just such a spirit, and we are privileged to be alongside for the journey. [This] is an important debut and Parys a welcome new voice."" --Daniel Bowman Jr., author of A Plum Tree in Leatherstocking Country ""Wake, Sleeper is a brave, irreverent, funny and stunningly generous exploration of faith and resistance to it, of identity, of grief, of the joy of intellectual and spiritual inquiry. Parys's attention to the idiosyncrasies of language opens lines of thought that are at times profound and, at others, hilarious. This is an edgy, brilliant scouting of ancient geography by a young and highly gifted writer."" --Meredith Hall, author of the memoir Without a Map ""Many writers share their questions in order to offer their answers. But some writers, like Bryan Parys, live in the messiness of questions. Eschewing the temptations of certainty, Parys has created a gorgeous, searching work. Wake, Sleeper is a book of revelation."" --Chris Stedman, author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious and Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community Bryan Parys is a writer, editor, and teacher. His creative nonfiction work has appeared in Ruminate Magazine, Sojourners, and The Good Men Project, among others. He received his M.F.A. in creative nonfiction at the University of New Hampshire, is a writer at Berklee College of Music, and teaches writing on Boston's North Shore. This is his first book



The Happy Atheist

The Happy Atheist Author Paul Zachary Myers
ISBN-10 9780307379344
Release 2013
Pages 190
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The creator of the popular science blog, Pharyngula, presents a bitingly uproarious assessment of religious fanaticism that imparts his infectious disdain for such topics as creationism, biblical literalism and "intelligent design" theory.



Faith Versus Fact

Faith Versus Fact Author Jerry A. Coyne
ISBN-10 9780670026531
Release 2015
Pages 311
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Atheists in America

Atheists in America Author Melanie E. Brewster
ISBN-10 9780231537001
Release 2014-06-10
Pages 272
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This collection features more than two dozen narratives by atheists hailing from different backgrounds across the United States. Ranging in age, race, sexual orientation, and firmness in their irreligiosity, these individuals address religious deconversion, community building, parenting, and romantic relationships, providing a nuanced look at living without God in a predominantly Christian nation. These narratives illuminate the complexities and consequences for nonbelievers in the United States. Stepping away from religious belief can have serious social and existential ramifications, forcing atheists to discover new ways to live meaningfully without the guidance of a religious community. Yet shedding the constraints of a formal belief system can also be a freeing experience. Ultimately, this volume shows that claiming an atheist identity is anything but an act isolated from the other dimensions of the self. Upending common social, political, and psychological assumptions about atheists, this collection helps carve out a more accepted space for this minority to live within American society.