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How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedomby Jacques Berlinerblau
Synopses & Reviews
Founding father Thomas Jefferson believed that “religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God,” but these days many people seem to have forgotten this ideal. Conservatives claim America is a “Christian nation” and urge that laws be structured around religious convictions. Hardcore atheists, meanwhile, seek to undermine and attack religion at all levels. Surely there must be a middle ground.
In How to Be Secular, Jacques Berlinerblau issues a call to the moderates—those who are tired of the belligerence on the fringes—that we return to America’s long tradition of secularism, which seeks to protect both freedom from and for religion. He looks at the roots of secularism and examines how it should be bolstered and strengthened so that Americans of all stripes can live together peacefully.
“Jacques Berlinerblau mounts a careful, judicious, and compelling argument that America needs more secularists . . . The author’s argument merits a wide hearing and will change the way we think and talk about religious freedom.” —Randall Balmer, author of Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts Faith and Threatens America
Equally tired of faith tests for politicians and atheist polemics about the crimes of religion? In How to be Secular, Jacques Berlinerblau issues a rousing defense of America's secular roots as our nation's best way of protecting religious freedom for all.
A stirring call to move beyond religion for the guidance to improve human life on individual, community, and global levels--including a guided meditation practice for cultivating key human values
An unprecedented event: a beloved world religious leader proposes a way to lead an ethical, happy, and spiritual life beyond religion and offers a program of mental training for cultivating key human values
Ten years ago, in his best-selling Ethics for a New Millennium, His Holiness the Dalai Lama first proposed an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles. Now, in Beyond Religion, the Dalai Lama, at his most compassionate and outspoken, elaborates and deepens his vision for the nonreligious way.
Transcending the mere “religion wars,” he outlines a system of ethics for our shared world, one that gives full respect to religion. With the highest level of spiritual and intellectual authority, the Dalai Lama makes a stirring appeal for what he calls a “third way,” a path to an ethical and happy life and to a global human community based on understanding and mutual respect.
Beyond Religion is an essential statement from the Dalai Lama, a blueprint for all those who may choose not to identify with a religious tradition, yet still yearn for a life of spiritual fulfillment as they work for a better world.
About the Author
JACQUES BERLINERBLAU, professor at Georgetown University and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, is the author of four books. He has appeared on radio, television, and print, including NPR, CNN, Al-Jazeera, The Economist, The Jerusalem Post, U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post. He is the host of the webcast "Faith Complex," which appears on The Huffington Post and elsewhere.
Table of Contents
A NEW SYSTEM OF SECULAR ETHICS
1. Rethinking Secularism 3
2. Our Common Humanity 21
3. The Quest for Happiness 31
4. Compassion, the Foundation of Well-Being 41
5. Compassion and the Question of Justice 57
6. The Role of Discernment 73
7. Ethics in Our Shared World 83
EDUCATING THE HEART THROUGH
TRAINING THE MIND
8. Ethical Mindfulness in Everyday Life 103
9. Dealing with Destructive Emotions 113
10. Cultivating Key Inner Values 137
11. Meditation as Mental Cultivation 155
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