Author: Richard Cimino
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2014
"According to Cimino and Smith, the new upsurge of atheists is a reaction to the revival of religious fervor in American politics since 1980. Feeling overlooked and underrepresented in the public sphere, atheists have employed a wide variety of strategies--some evangelical, some based on identity politics--to defend and assert themselves against their ideological opponents. These strategies include building and maintaining communities, despite the absence of the kinds of shared rituals, texts, and laws that help to sustain organized religions. Drawing on in-depth interviews with self-identified atheist, secularist, and humanist leaders and activists, as well as extensive observations and analysis of secular gatherings and media, Cimino and Smith illustrate how atheists organize and align themselves toward common goals, and how media--particularly web-based media--have proven invaluable in connecting atheists to one another and in creating a powerful virtual community. Cimino and Smith suggest that secularists rely not only on the Internet for community-building, but on their own new forms of ritual."--Publisher's Web site.
Author: Sam Harris
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-09-09
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s latest New York Times bestseller is a guide to meditation as a rational practice informed by neuroscience and psychology. From Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of numerous New York Times bestselling books, Waking Up is for the twenty percent of Americans who follow no religion but who suspect that important truths can be found in the experiences of such figures as Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history. Throughout this book, Harris argues that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow, and that how we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the quality of our lives. Waking Up is part memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.
Does Buddhism require faith? Can an atheist or agnostic follow the Buddha’s teachings without believing in reincarnation or organized religion? This is one man’s confession. In his classic Buddhism Without Beliefs, Stephen Batchelor offered a profound, secular approach to the teachings of the Buddha that struck an emotional chord with Western readers. Now, with the same brilliance and boldness of thought, he paints a groundbreaking portrait of the historical Buddha—told from the author’s unique perspective as a former Buddhist monk and modern seeker. Drawing from the original Pali Canon, the seminal collection of Buddhist discourses compiled after the Buddha’s death by his followers, Batchelor shows us the Buddha as a flesh-and-blood man who looked at life in a radically new way. Batchelor also reveals the everyday challenges and doubts of his own devotional journey—from meeting the Dalai Lama in India, to training as a Zen monk in Korea, to finding his path as a lay teacher of Buddhism living in France. Both controversial and deeply personal, Stephen Batchelor’s refreshingly doctrine-free, life-informed account is essential reading for anyone interested in Buddhism.
Argues that the central conflict of Western civilization is between spirituality and atheism, that the natural world cannot satisfy, that this dissatisfaction is intolerable, and that there is no God to provide comfort.
A national bestseller and acclaimed guide to Buddhism for beginners and practitioners alike In this simple but important volume, Stephen Batchelor reminds us that the Buddha was not a mystic who claimed privileged, esoteric knowledge of the universe, but a man who challenged us to understand the nature of anguish, let go of its origins, and bring into being a way of life that is available to us all. The concepts and practices of Buddhism, says Batchelor, are not something to believe in but something to do—and as he explains clearly and compellingly, it is a practice that we can engage in, regardless of our background or beliefs, as we live every day on the path to spiritual enlightenment.
Author: Manal al-Sharif
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-06-13
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
This is a memoir about living, loving, dreaming, daring, and driving while female -- in a country where it's dangerous to do all of the above. Manal al-Sharif grew up in Mecca the second daughter of a taxi driver, born the year strict fundamentalism took hold. In her adolescence, she was religious radical, melting her brother's boy band CDs in the oven because music was haram: forbidden by Islamic law. But what a difference an education can make. By her twenties, she was a computer security engineer, one of a few women working in a desert compound built to resemble suburban America. That's when the Saudi kingdom's contradictions became too much to bear: she was labeled a slut for chatting with male colleagues, her school-age brother chaperoned her on a business trip, and while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving on Saudi streets. Manal-al-Sharif has written a memoir about the making of an accidental activist, a story of a young Muslim woman who stood up to a kingdom of men -- and won.
Author: Isaac Kramnick
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2018-08-21
Genre: Political Science
If the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects religious liberty, why have atheists been stigmatized as second-class citizens? From colonial times into the twentieth century, our laws and court cases ignored atheism, assuming that all good Americans were religious. Americans came to associate atheism with radical social philosophies that advocated violence—especially anarchism and communism. Avowed nonbelievers were derided, even the famous patriot Thomas Paine. Only in the twentieth century, with the passage of laws allowing for conscientious objection to war, did nonbelief enter debates about religious liberty. Still, today every one of the fifty states has God written into its constitution, with eight requiring a belief in God for holding public office. God is everywhere in American public life: on our currency, in the Pledge of Allegiance, and in the national motto. R. Laurence Moore and Isaac Kramnick explore both God’s omnipresence and the dramatic rise in nonbelievers that has led to an “atheist awakening” intent on holding the country to its secular principles.
Karen Favreau is a Generation X seeker who has run the spiritual gamut. Raised Catholic, she lapsed into atheism and began a long, strange journey back to Christian faith. In Ridiculous Packaging she chronicles her trip, offering a humorous, non-preachy, and heartfelt memoir in which she attempts to decipher why a cynical, thirty-three year old atheist would open her heart and accept God's love after having spent an entire lifetime running away from him.
Author: Richard J. Meagher
Publisher: Lexington Books
Release Date: 2018-02-05
Genre: Political Science
In this book, one of the first to take atheism seriously as a social movement, Richard J. Meagher examines the political history of American atheism and freethought. Meagher demonstrates how changes in resources, opportunities, and movement identity help explain the political mobilization of atheists in America.
Author: Patrick McLaughlin
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: 2010-04-12
Experience gripping wartime stories and honest prayers by this Camp David chaplain now serving in Iraq. When words mean less and less, but money talks more and more; when blasphemy is a best seller, and eternal war has replaced hopeful diplomacy; in times like these is prayer even possible? Patrick J. McLaughlin thinks so. McLaughlin is an active duty Navy Chaplain who has ministered to heads of state and to soldiers living and dying in the heat of Iraq. No Atheists in Foxholes assembles Chaplain McLaughlin's experiences and prayers from e-mails, private notes, and personal conversations that take us real-time into realms of duty and spirit: from the quiet darkness of his infant son's New England bedroom on September 11, 2001, to the bomshelled medical tents and blistered Army Humvees of Anbar Province. Chaplain McLaughlin believes that prayer is not only possible, but critical. "We must all learn to pray for peace," he says, "and then become an answer to that prayer."
Author: Tim Crane
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2017-10-30
Current debate about religion seems to be going nowhere. Atheists persist with their arguments, many plausible and some unanswerable, but they make no impact on believers. Defenders of religion find atheists equally unwilling to cede ground. Noting that religion is not what atheists think it is, Tim Crane offers a way out of this stalemate.