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Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

by Phil Zuckerman

ISBN: 9780143127932
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ISBN: 9780143127932

Publisher Description

Over the last 25 years, 'no religion' has become the fastest-growing religion in the Western World. Revealing the inspiring beliefs that empower secular culture - alongside real stories of nonreligious men and women based on extensive in-depth interviews from across the U.S. - Living the Secular Life will be indispensable for millions of secular people. A manifesto for a booming social movement and a revelatory survey of an overlooked community, this book offers essential and long-awaited information for anyone building a life based on his or her own principles

Author Biography

Phil Zuckerman, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College, Claremont, CA. He is currently teaching Classical Sociological Theory, Contemporary Sociological Theory, Deviance, Crime and Punishment in the U.S., Introduction to Sociology, Sociology of Religion, Sex and Religion, and a Senior Seminar/Capstone Course.

Review

A Best Book of 2014, Publishers Weekly "Zuckerman is a sociologist who in this groundbreaking book writes clearly, offers unobtrusive statistical support, and provides a persuasive and comprehensive look at the growing contemporary phenomenon of people who choose to live without religion, but with ethics and meaning in their lives." Library Journal: "The author brilliantly weaves stories and reflections together with empirical sociological research to create a rich portrait of secular America... Highly recommended for all readers, both religious and nonreligious, seeking a more accurate understanding of this ever-growing segment of the American population."

Publishers Weekly: "In this fascinating work, Zuckerman (Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion), professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College, explores the moral and ethical foundations of secularism, addressing the question of whether you can live a good life without God or religion. Anecdotal evidence abounds; interviews with former religious adherents who have moved into secularism, both within and outside their religious communities, offer a compelling argument for the non-necessity of God in the pursuit of a moral life. "

Booklist: "With recent polls reporting 30 percent of Americans are nonreligious, while other studies find atheists the least-trusted people in the country, isn't it high time to blow away the myths about the nonreligious? Answering affirmatively, the sociologist founder of the first secular-studies program at Pitzer College presents real secular people as peaceable, productive, and living happily....He also shows that secularism isn't bipolar--believer or nonbeliever--but includes many with some supernatural beliefs but who aren't religiously observant. And there's not a proselytizer or zealot among this group--the point being that secular people are not all--indeed, hardly ever--Christopher Hitchens or Madalyn Murray O'Hair. May one more prejudice fall."

Greg M. Epstein, humanist chaplain at Harvard University; author Good Without God "Phil Zuckerman is without a doubt the leading American sociologist of secularism. And with America secularizing more rapidly and profoundly now than in any previous era in our history, Zuckerman's work has become essential reading for everyday people who want to understand religion--and the nonreligious--in this country. Living the Secular Life represents the next big chapter in a centuries-old story, so if you've ever taken an interest in Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, et al., you certainly need to pick this book up and find out where things are headed."

Bart Campolo, author Things We Wish We Had Said "Since coming out as a post-Christian minister, I've discovered all kinds of people sincerely pursuing goodness without the nurture, encouragement, and mutual support most church folks take for granted. These folks are hungry for fellowship and pastoral care, but even hungrier for a thoughtful, positive way to communicate their values and commitments to friends and family members instinctively distrustful of anyone who doesn't believe in God. For them--and for me--Phil Zuckerman is a genuine hero, and Living the Secular Life is a wonderful gift. Here at last is a clear, concise, and compassionate guided tour of the world's fastest-growing way of life. Zuckerman isn't trying to prove everyone else wrong. On the contrary, he's helping the secular community better understand and comport itself, and helping the rest of humanity understand that we're on their side too."

Peter Boghossian, professor of philosophy, Portland State University; author of A Manual for Creating Atheists "For secular people seeking deeper insight into their own worldview, or religious people seeking to better understand the rise of irreligion in society today, this book is indispensable. An engaging, powerful read."

Product Details

Author
Phil Zuckerman
Short Title
LIVING THE SECULAR LIFE
Pages
288
Publisher
Penguin Books
Language
English
ISBN-10
0143127934
ISBN-13
9780143127932
Media
Book
Format
Paperback
Year
2015
Subtitle
New Answers to Old Questions
Country of Publication
United States
Publication Date
2015-11-26
Audience
General/Trade