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Letter to a Christian Nation

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Letter to a Christian Nation Cover

ISBN13: 9780307265777
ISBN10: 0307265773
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In response to The End of Faith, Sam Harris received thousands of letters from Christians excoriating him for not believing in God. Letter to a Christian Nation is his reply. Using rational argument, Harris offers a measured refutation of the beliefs that form the core of fundamentalist Christianity. In the course of his argument, he addresses current topics ranging from intelligent design and stem-cell research to the connections between religion and violence. In Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris boldly challenges the influence that faith has on public life in our nation. In his "Note to the Reader," he writes:
Forty-four percent of the American population is convinced that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead sometime in the next fifty years. According to the most common interpretation of biblical prophecy, Jesus will return only after things have gone horribly awry here on earth. It is, therefore, not an exaggeration to say that if the city of New York were suddenly replaced by a ball of fire, some significant percentage of the American population would see a silver lining in the subsequent mushroom cloud, as it would suggest to them that the best thing that is ever going to happen was about to happen — the return of Christ. It should be blindingly obvious that beliefs of this sort will do little to help us create a durable future for ourselves — socially, economically, environmentally, or geopolitically. Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government actually believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes this, purely on the basis of religious dogma, should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency. The book you are about to read is my response to this emergency...

Review:

"Reading Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation was like sitting ring side, cheering the champion, yelling 'Yes!' at every jab. For those of us who feel depressed by this country's ever increasing unification of church and state, and the ever decreasing support for the sciences that deliver knowledge and reduce ignorance, this little book is a welcome hit of adrenalin." Marc Hauser, author of Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Sense of Right and Wrong

Review:

"Sam Harris fearlessly describes a moral and intellectual emergency precipitated by religious fantasies — misguided beliefs that create suffering, that rationalize violence, that have endangered our nation and our future. His argument for the morality, the honesty, and the humility of atheism is galvanizing. It is a relief that someone has spoken so frankly, with such passion yet such rationality. Now when the subject arises, as it inevitably does, I can simply say: Read Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation." Janna Levin, author of How the Universe Got Its Spots and A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines

Review:

"It's a shame that not everyone in this country will read Sam Harris' marvelous little book. They won't, but they should." Leonard Susskind, author of The Cosmic Landscape

Review:

"Sam Harris's elegant little book is most refreshing and a wonderful source of ammunition for those who, like me, hold to no religious doctrine. Yet I have some sympathy also with those who might be worried by his uncompromising stance. Read it and form your own view, but do not ignore its message." Sir Roger Penrose, author of The Road to Reality

Review:

"Read this book and decide your stance for the future." Michael S. Gazzaniga, author of The Ethical Brain

Synopsis:

"Thousands of people have written to tell me that I am wrong not to believe in God. The most hostile of these communications have come from Christians. This is ironic, as Christians generally imagine that no faith imparts the virtues of love and forgiveness more effectively than their own. The truth is that many who claim to be transformed by Christ's love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism. While we may want to ascribe this to human nature, it is clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible. How do I know this? The most disturbed of my correspondents always cite chapter and verse."

So begins Letter to a Christian Nation...

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About the Author

Sam Harris is the author of the New York Times best seller The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, winner of the 2005 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

ammie119, January 19, 2010 (view all comments by ammie119)
I love this book. It's very smart, thoughtful, and passionate. It's a great resource for those troubled by religiosity, fanaticism, and the religious-right in America.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
alnitak, March 14, 2007 (view all comments by alnitak)
Sam Harris issues a clear, calm challenge to Christians. If you are a Christian, read this book--you may find your faith strengthened or shattered, but it will not be unchanged. Harris says all that needs to be said with admirable parsimony, wit, and grace.
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(25 of 50 readers found this comment helpful)
Laura Croteau, December 1, 2006 (view all comments by Laura Croteau)
Over the past few years, a prestigious and often best-selling library of atheist literature has developed. Those who pick up these large, sophisticated volumes generally appreciate them and grow through the experience each book has to offer. Sam Harris himself has made important contributions to this growing niche of interest.

But wait - here's something slightly different; in a short, concise, pocket-sized volume called Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris has made a unique statement. Harris addresses religion as it informs some of the most crucial elements of human society.

In fact, Harris addresses an entire cultural community in a solemn, sophisticated, and straighforward tone. He patiently examines every objection that The End of Faith generated in the Christian community. To me, this lends yet more credibility to Harris and his books. Here is a person who demonstrates full responsibility for his opinions and his influence.

This is a quick read that you will enjoy, discuss, and learn from. Harris offers clarity and insight in a few words that I personally will read again and again.
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(35 of 71 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 8 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307265777
Author:
Harris, Sam
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
General
Subject:
Christian Life - Pop Culture Issues
Subject:
Fundamentalism
Subject:
Christian Life - Social Issues
Subject:
Church and state
Subject:
Christianity - Christian Life - Pop Culture Issues
Subject:
Christianity - Christian Life - Social Issues
Subject:
Christianity - History - Social Issues
Subject:
Christianity - History - General
Subject:
Religious right - United States
Subject:
Christian conservatism - United States
Subject:
General Current Events
Subject:
Church & State
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20060919
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
112
Dimensions:
7.42x4.60x.60 in. .40 lbs.

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Sociology » American Studies
Humanities » Philosophy » Atheism and Humanism
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Christianity » Christian Life » Social Issues
Religion » Christianity » Theology » General

Letter to a Christian Nation Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 112 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780307265777 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Reading Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation was like sitting ring side, cheering the champion, yelling 'Yes!' at every jab. For those of us who feel depressed by this country's ever increasing unification of church and state, and the ever decreasing support for the sciences that deliver knowledge and reduce ignorance, this little book is a welcome hit of adrenalin."
"Review" by , "Sam Harris fearlessly describes a moral and intellectual emergency precipitated by religious fantasies — misguided beliefs that create suffering, that rationalize violence, that have endangered our nation and our future. His argument for the morality, the honesty, and the humility of atheism is galvanizing. It is a relief that someone has spoken so frankly, with such passion yet such rationality. Now when the subject arises, as it inevitably does, I can simply say: Read Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation."
"Review" by , "It's a shame that not everyone in this country will read Sam Harris' marvelous little book. They won't, but they should."
"Review" by , "Sam Harris's elegant little book is most refreshing and a wonderful source of ammunition for those who, like me, hold to no religious doctrine. Yet I have some sympathy also with those who might be worried by his uncompromising stance. Read it and form your own view, but do not ignore its message."
"Review" by , "Read this book and decide your stance for the future."
"Synopsis" by , "Thousands of people have written to tell me that I am wrong not to believe in God. The most hostile of these communications have come from Christians. This is ironic, as Christians generally imagine that no faith imparts the virtues of love and forgiveness more effectively than their own. The truth is that many who claim to be transformed by Christ's love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism. While we may want to ascribe this to human nature, it is clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible. How do I know this? The most disturbed of my correspondents always cite chapter and verse."

So begins Letter to a Christian Nation...

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