Grace Without God

Author: Katherine Ozment
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062305158
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Meet “the Nones”—In this thought-provoking exploration of secular America, celebrated journalist Katherine Ozment takes readers on a quest to understand the trends and ramifications of a nation in flight from organized religion. Studies show that religion makes us happier, healthier and more giving, connecting us to our past and creating tight communal bonds. Most Americans are raised in a religious tradition, but in recent decades many have begun to leave religion, and with it their ancient rituals, mythic narratives, and sense of belonging. So how do the nonreligious fill the need for ritual, story, community, and, above all, purpose and meaning without the one-stop shop of religion? What do they do with the space left after religion? With Nones swelling to one-fourth of American adults, and more than one-third of those under thirty, these questions have never been more urgent. Writer, journalist, and secular mother of three Katherine Ozment came face-to-face with the fundamental issue of the Nones when her son asked her the simplest of questions: “what are we?” Unsettled by her reply—“Nothing”—she set out on a journey to find a better answer. She traversed the frontier of American secular life, sought guidance in science and the humanities, talked with noted scholars, and wrestled with her own family’s attempts to find meaning and connection after religion. Insightful, surprising, and compelling, Grace Without God is both a personal and critical exploration of the many ways nonreligious Americans create their own meaning and purpose in an increasingly secular age.

Grace Without God

Author: Katherine Ozment
Publisher: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 9780062305138
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Meet “the Nones”—In this thought-provoking exploration of secular America, celebrated journalist Katherine Ozment takes readers on a quest to understand the trends and ramifications of a nation in flight from organized religion. Studies show that religion makes us happier, healthier and more giving, connecting us to our past and creating tight communal bonds. Most Americans are raised in a religious tradition, but in recent decades many have begun to leave religion, and with it their ancient rituals, mythic narratives, and sense of belonging. So how do the nonreligious fill the need for ritual, story, community, and, above all, purpose and meaning without the one-stop shop of religion? What do they do with the space left after religion? With Nones swelling to one-fourth of American adults, and more than one-third of those under thirty, these questions have never been more urgent. Writer, journalist, and secular mother of three Katherine Ozment came face-to-face with the fundamental issue of the Nones when her son asked her the simplest of questions: “what are we?” Unsettled by her reply—“Nothing”—she set out on a journey to find a better answer. She traversed the frontier of American secular life, sought guidance in science and the humanities, talked with noted scholars, and wrestled with her own family’s attempts to find meaning and connection after religion. Insightful, surprising, and compelling, Grace Without God is both a personal and critical exploration of the many ways nonreligious Americans create their own meaning and purpose in an increasingly secular age.

Grace Without God

Author: Katherine Ozment
Publisher: Harper Wave
ISBN: 9780062305114
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Meet “the Nones”—In this thought-provoking exploration of secular America, celebrated journalist Katherine Ozment takes readers on a quest to understand the trends and ramifications of a nation in flight from organized religion. Studies show that religion makes us happier, healthier and more giving, connecting us to our past and creating tight communal bonds. Most Americans are raised in a religious tradition, but in recent decades many have begun to leave religion, and with it their ancient rituals, mythic narratives, and sense of belonging. So how do the nonreligious fill the need for ritual, story, community, and, above all, purpose and meaning without the one-stop shop of religion? What do they do with the space left after religion? With Nones swelling to one-fourth of American adults, and more than one-third of those under thirty, these questions have never been more urgent. Writer, journalist, and secular mother of three Katherine Ozment came face-to-face with the fundamental issue of the Nones when her son asked her the simplest of questions: “what are we?” Unsettled by her reply—“Nothing”—she set out on a journey to find a better answer. She traversed the frontier of American secular life, sought guidance in science and the humanities, talked with noted scholars, and wrestled with her own family’s attempts to find meaning and connection after religion. Insightful, surprising, and compelling, Grace Without God is both a personal and critical exploration of the many ways nonreligious Americans create their own meaning and purpose in an increasingly secular age.

Free Will Explained

Author: Dan Barker
Publisher: Sterling
ISBN: 9781454927358
Format: PDF, Docs
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Do we have free will? And if we don't, why do we feel as if we do? Popular author Dan Barker examines the way we make choices in this world through his original concept of "harmonic free will" a philosophy that acknowledges both the impersonal laws of cause and effect that govern our world, as well as our own independent volition--without ever seeing these two perspectives as contradictory.

A None s Story

Author: Corinna Nicolaou
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231541252
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The rising population known as “nones” for its members’ lack of religious affiliation is changing American society, politics, and culture. Many nones believe in God and even visit places of worship, but they do not identify with a specific faith or belong to a spiritual community. Corinna Nicolaou is a none, and in this layered narrative, she describes what it is like for her and thousands of others to live without religion or to be spiritual without committing to a specific faith. Nicolaou also tours America’s major traditional religions to see what, if anything, one might lack without God. She moves through Christianity’s denominations, learning their tenets and worshiping alongside their followers. She travels to Los Angeles to immerse herself in Judaism, Berkeley to educate herself about Buddhism, and Dallas and Washington, D.C., to familiarize herself with Islam. These encounters prove the significant role religion still plays in modern life. They also exemplify the vibrant relationship between religion and American culture and the enduring value it provides to immigrants and outsiders. Though she remains a devout none, Nicolaou’s experiences reveal points of contact between the religious and the unaffiliated, suggesting nones may be radically revising the practice of faith in contemporary times.

How God Became God

Author: Richard M. Smoley
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0399185569
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This epic, thrilling journey through Bible scholarship and ancient religion shows how much of Scripture is historically false--yet the ancient writings also resound with theologies that crisscrossed the primeval world and that direct us today toward a deep, inner, authentic experience of the truly sacred. From a historical perspective, the Bible is shockingly, provably wrong--a point supported by today's best archaeological and historical scholarship but not well understood by (or communicated to) the public. Yet this emphatically does not mean that the Bible isn't, in some very real measure, true, argues scholar of mysticism Richard Smoley. Smoley reviews the most authoritative historical evidence to demonstrate that figures such as Moses, Abraham, and Jesus are not only unlikely to have existed, but bear strong composite resemblances to other Near Eastern religious icons. Likewise, the geopolitical and military events of Scripture fail to mesh with the largely settled historical time line and social structures. Smoley meticulously shows how our concepts of the Hebrew and Christian God, including Christ himself, are an assemblage of ideas that were altered, argued over, and edited--until their canonization. This process, to a large degree, gave Western civilization its consensus view of God. But these conclusions are not cause for nihilism or disbelief. Rather, beneath the metaphorical figures and mythical historicism of Scripture appears an extraordinary, truly transcendent theology born from the most sacred and fully realized spiritual and human insights of the antique Eastern world. Far from being "untrue," the Bible is remarkably, extraordinarily true as it connects us to the sublime insights of our ancient ancestors and points to a unifying ethic behind many of the world's faiths. From the Trade Paperback edition.

How Not to Be Secular

Author: James K. A. Smith
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 0802867618
Format: PDF
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How (Not) to Be Secular is what Jamie Smith calls "your hitchhiker's guide to the present" -- it is both a reading guide to Charles Taylor's monumental work A Secular Age and philosophical guidance on how we might learn to live in our times. Taylor's landmark book A Secular Age (2007) provides a monumental, incisive analysis of what it means to live in the post-Christian present -- a pluralist world of competing beliefs and growing unbelief. Jamie Smith's book is a compact field guide to Taylor's insightful study of the secular, making that very significant but daunting work accessible to a wide array of readers. Even more, though, Smith's How (Not) to Be Secular is a practical philosophical guidebook, a kind of how-to manual on how to live in our secular age. It ultimately offers us an adventure in self-understanding and maps out a way to get our bearings in today's secular culture, no matter who "we" are -- whether believers or skeptics, devout or doubting, self-assured or puzzled and confused. This is a book for any thinking person to chew on.

Religious America Secular Europe

Author: Peter L. Berger
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 9780754658337
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Europe is a relatively secular part of the world in global terms. Why is this so? And why is the situation in Europe so different from that in the United States?The first chapter of this book - the theme - articulates this contrast. The remaining chapters - the variations - look in turn at the historical, philosophical, institutional and sociological dimensions of these differences. Key ideas are examined in detail, among them: constitutional issues; the Enlightenment; systems of law, education and welfare; questions of class, ethnicity, gender and generation. In each chapter both the similarities and differences between the European and the American cases are carefully scrutinized. The final chapter explores the ways in which these features translate into policy on both sides of the Atlantic. This book is highly topical and relates very directly to current misunderstandings between Europe and America.

Living the Secular Life

Author: Phil Zuckerman
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 0143127934
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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

Discovering Our World

Author: Paul Singh
Publisher: Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
ISBN: 1634310055
Format: PDF, ePub
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Where did everything come from? Why are humans so biologically similar, and why do we let small differences divide us? What shall determine our destiny? Paul Singh and John R. Shook draw on the latest findings from the physical and biological sciences, astronomy and cosmology, geology and genetics, and prehistory and archeology in search of answers. As they lucidly and engagingly demonstrate, the answers science gives about ourselves and the universe in which we live are incomparably more surprising and interesting than any mythical tale about some clash of titans or calculating creator. Indeed, science's proud journey of exploration and discovery is humanity's finest narrative yet, about how we trusted our intelligence to find out what we really are and who we can be—intrepidly going wherever the evidence led. Even though science reveals that humanity may have no special place in the universe, humanity is truly special because of our ability to comprehend our universe. Thus, this inspiring story of exploration and discovery is a celebration not only of science—of science's knowledge of the world, and of science's own journeys to gain that knowledge—but also of ourselves.