Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment

Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment Description:

strong Silver Winner of the em Foreword Magazine em Book of the Year Award Religion Category strong br br Before he began his recent travels it seemed to Phil Zuckerman as if humans all over the globe were getting religion praising deities performing holy rites and soberly defending the world from sin But most residents of Denmark and Sweden he found don t worship any god at all don t pray and don t give much credence to religious dogma of any kind Instead of being bastions of sin and corruption however as the Christian Right has suggested a godless society would be these countries are filled with residents who score at the very top of the happiness index and enjoy their healthy societies which boast some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the world along with some of the lowest levels of corruption excellent educational systems strong economies well supported arts free health care egalitarian social policies outstanding bike paths and great beer br br Zuckerman formally interviewed nearly Danes and Swedes of all ages and educational backgrounds over the course of fourteen months He was particularly interested in the worldviews of people who live their lives without religious orientation How do they think about and cope with death Are they worried about an afterlife What he found is that nearly all of his interviewees live their lives without much fear of the Grim Reaper or worries about the hereafter This led him to wonder how and why it is that certain societies are non religious in a world that seems to be marked by increasing religiosity Drawing on prominent sociological theories and his own extensive research Zuckerman ventures some interesting answers br br This fascinating approach directly counters the claims of outspoken conservative American Christians who argue that a society without God would be hell on earth It is crucial Zuckerman believes for Americans to know that society without God is not only possible but it can be quite civil and pleasant

Rating: 3.72 out of 5

Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions Description:

u b u David Brooks u i The New York Times i br b As secularism becomes more prominent and self confident its spokesmen have more insistently argued that secularism should not be seen as an absence as a lack of faith but rather as a positive moral creed Phil Zuckerman a Pitzer College sociologist makes this case as fluidly and pleasurably as anybody in his book i Living the Secular Life i b br br u A Best Book u of i Publishers Weekly i b u br br Over the last twenty five years no religion has become the fastest growing religion in the United States Around the world hundreds of millions of people have turned away from the traditional faiths of the past and embraced a moral yet nonreligious or secular life generating societies vastly less religious than at any other time in human history 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 country i Living the Secular Life i will be indispensable for millions of secular Americans br br Drawing on innovative sociological research i Living the Secular Life i illuminates this demographic shift with the moral convictions that govern secular individuals offering crucial information for the religious and nonreligious alike i Living the Secular Life i reveals that despite opinions to the contrary nonreligious Americans possess a unique moral code that allows them to effectively navigate the complexities of modern life Spiritual self reliance clear eyed pragmatism and an abiding faith in the Golden Rule to adjudicate moral decisions these common principlesare shared across secular society i Living the Secular Life i demonstrates these principles in action and points to their usage throughout daily life br br Phil Zuckerman is a sociology professor at Pitzer College where he studied the lives of the nonreligious for years before founding a Department of Secular Studies the first academic program in the nation dedicated to exclusively studying secular culture and the sociological consequences of America s fastest growing faith Zuckerman discovered that despite the entrenched negative beliefs about nonreligious people American secular culture is grounded in deep morality and proactive citizenship indeed some of the very best that the country has to offer br br i Living the Secular Life i journeys through some of the most essential components of human existence child rearing and morality death and ritual community and beauty and offers secular readers inspiration for leading their own lives Zuckerman shares eye opening research that reveals the enduring moral strength of children raised without religion as well as the hardships experienced by secular mothers in the rural South where church attendance defines the public space Despite the real sorrows of mortality Zuckerman conveys the deep psychological health of secular individuals in their attitudes toward illness death and dying Tracking the efforts of nonreligious groups to construct their own communities Zuckerman shows how Americans are building institutions and cultivating relationships without religious influence Most of all i Living the Secular Life i infuses the sociological data and groundbreaking research with the moral convictions that govern secular individuals and demonstrates how readers can integrate these beliefs into their own lives br br A manifesto for a booming social movement and a revelatory survey of this overlooked community i Living the Secular Life i offers essential and long awaited information for anyone building a life based on his or her own principles br br u b u i New York Times Book Review i Susan Jacoby u b u br b A humane and sensible guide to and for the many kinds of Americans leading secular lives in what remains one of the most religious nations in the developed world b

Rating: 3.39 out of 5

Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion

Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion Description:

During his inaugural speech President Obama described the United States as a nation of Christians and Muslims Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers It was the first time an American president had acknowledged the existence of this rapidly growing segment of the population in such a public forum And yet the reasons why more and more people are turning away from religion are still poorly understood br In Faith No More Phil Zuckerman draws on in depth interviews with people who have left religion to find out what s really behind the process of losing one s faith According to a study so many Americans claim no religion up from in that this category now outranks every other religious group except Catholics and Baptists Exploring the deeper stories within such survey data Zuckerman shows that leaving one s faith is a highly personal complex and drawn out process And he finds that rather than the cliche of the angry nihilistic atheist apostates are life affirming courageous highly intelligent and inquisitive and deeply moral Zuckerman predicts that this trend toward nonbelief will likely continue and argues that the sooner we recognize that religion is frequently and freely rejected by all sorts of men and women the sooner our understanding of the human condition will improve br The first book of its kind Faith No More will appeal to anyone interested in the New Atheism and indeed to anyone wishing to more fully understand our changing relationship to religious faith

Rating: 3.53 out of 5

Invitation to the Sociology of Religion

Invitation to the Sociology of Religion Description:

This book intends to serve as a conversational colorful engaging and provocative introduction to the sociology of religion for undergraduates Written in lively prose this volume aims to introduce students to the major themes problems and goals of the sociological study of religion while also summoning the sense of wonder and curiosity for the enterprise itself

Rating: 3.71 out of 5

The Social Theory of W.E.B. Du Bois

The Social Theory of W.E.B. Du Bois Description:

W E B Du Bois was a political and literary giant of the th century publishing over twenty books and thousands of essays and articles throughout his life In b The Social Theory of W E B Du Bois b editor Phil Zuckerman assembles Du Bois s work from a wide variety of sources including articles Du Bois published in newspapers speeches he delivered selections from well known classics such as i The Souls of Black Folk i and i Darkwater i and lesser known hard to find material written by this revolutionary social theorist This book offers an excellent introduction to the sociological theory of one of the th century s intellectual beacons

Rating: 3.32 out of 5

The Nonreligious: Understanding Secular People and Societies

The Nonreligious: Understanding Secular People and Societies Description:

The number of nonreligious people has increased dramatically over the past several decades yet scholarship on the nonreligious is severely lacking In response to this critical gap in knowledge em The Nonreligious em provides a comprehensive summation and analysis of existing social scientific research on secular people and societies The authors present a thorough overview of existing knowledge while also drawing upon ongoing research and suggesting ways to improve our understanding of this growing population Offering a research and data based examination of the nonreligious this book will be an invaluable source of information and a foundation for further scholarship Written in clear accessible language that will appeal to students and the increasingly interested general reader em The Nonreligious em provides an unbiased and thorough account of relevant existing scholarship within the social sciences that bears on lived experiences of the nonreligious br

Rating: 3.58 out of 5

Strife in the Sanctuary: Religious Schism in a Jewish Community

Strife in the Sanctuary: Religious Schism in a Jewish Community Description:

For more than forty years there was a single synagogue in the quiet town of Williamette Oregon But then disagreements over gender roles homosexuality Israeli politics and other issues tore the synagogue in two Where there was once one Jewish community under one roof there are now two hostile congregations one Reconstructionist one Orthodox across the street from one another Through a year as a participant in both congregations and in depth interviews Zuckerman tells a mesmerizing story of this religious schism Strife in the Sanctuary then contemplates why religious groups split apart and how religious symbols come to mean different things to different groups The first book length study of a single congregation breaking in two Strife in the Sanctuary provides a welcome ethnographic study for sociologists of religion Plus its moving story makes it an excellent read for undergraduate classes or anyone interested in religious divisions

Rating: 3.37 out of 5

Du Bois on Religion

Du Bois on Religion Description:

W E B Du Bois shaped th century America to an extent rivaled by few others The first black to receive a Ph D from Harvard he helped create the discipline of sociology and was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP Martin Luther King Jr called Du Bois a gifted discoverer of social truths But until now little academic attention has been paid to his insights on religion or to how religious commitments shaped his views of race rights and justice Phil Zuckerman here gathers together Du Bois s writings on religion and makes a compelling case for Du Bois to be recognized among the leading sociologists of religion Du Bois on Religion includes selections from his well known works such as The Souls of Black Folks to poems prayers stories and speeches less widely available Brief helpful introductions preface each of the twenty six selections Also a general introduction traces Du Bois s move from church attending Christian to relentless critic of religion and evaluates Du Bois s contributions to the study of religion Du Bois on Religion is an important text for sociologists or for anyone interested in the history of race and religion in the United States

Rating: 3.55 out of 5

Atheism And Secularity: Volume 2: Global Expressions

Atheism And Secularity: Volume 2: Global Expressions Description:

No description available

Rating: 3.61 out of 5

Atheism and Secularity: Volume 1: Issues, Concepts, and Definitions

Atheism and Secularity: Volume 1: Issues, Concepts, and Definitions Description:

No description available

Rating: 3.42 out of 5