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Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believeby Greg Epstein
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
Epstein, the Humanist chaplain at Harvard, offers a world view for nonbelievers that is a provocative and positive response to the more hostile positions in recent bestsellers by Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins.
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 provocative and positive response to Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and other New Atheists, Good Without God makes a bold claim for what nonbelievers do share and believe. Author Greg Epstein, the Humanist chaplain at Harvard, offers a world view for nonbelievers that dispenses with the hostility and intolerance of religion prevalent in national bestsellers like God is Not Great and The God Delusion. Epsteins Good Without God provides a constructive, challenging response to these manifestos by getting to the heart of Humanism and its positive belief in tolerance, community, morality, and good without having to rely on the guidance of a higher being.
Questions about the role of God and religion in today's world have never been more relevant or felt more powerfully. Many of us are searching for a place where we can find not only facts and scientific reason but also hope and moral courage. For some, answers are found in the divine. For others, including the New Atheists, religion is an "enemy."
But in Good Without God, Greg Epstein presents another, more balanced and inclusive response: Humanism. He highlights humanity's potential for goodness and the ways in which Humanists lead lives of purpose and compassion. Humanism can offer the sense of community we want and often need in good times and bad—and it teaches us that we can lead good and moral lives without the supernatural, without higher powers . . . without God.
About the Author
The Humanist chaplain at Harvard University, Greg M. Epstein holds a B.A. in religion and Chinese and an M.A. in Judaic studies from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. in theological studies from the Harvard Divinity School. He is a regular contributor to "On Faith," an online forum on religion produced by Newsweek and the Washington Post.
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