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Faitheist Book Summary : The story of a former Evangelical Christian turned openly gay atheist who now works to bridge the divide between atheists and the religious The stunning popularity of the “New Atheist” movement—whose most famous spokesmen include Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens—speaks to both the growing ranks of atheists and the widespread, vehement disdain for religion among many of them. In Faitheist, Chris Stedman tells his own story to challenge the orthodoxies of this movement and make a passionate argument that atheists should engage religious diversity respectfully. Becoming aware of injustice, and craving community, Stedman became a “born-again” Christian in late childhood. The idea of a community bound by God’s love—a love that was undeserved, unending, and guaranteed—captivated him. It was, he writes, a place to belong and a framework for making sense of suffering. But Stedman’s religious community did not embody this idea of God’s love: they were staunchly homophobic at a time when he was slowly coming to realize that he was gay. The great suffering this caused him might have turned Stedman into a life-long New Atheist. But over time he came to know more open-minded Christians, and his interest in service work brought him into contact with people from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. His own religious beliefs might have fallen away, but his desire to change the world for the better remained. Disdain and hostility toward religion was holding him back from engaging in meaningful work with people of faith. And it was keeping him from full relationships with them—the kinds of relationships that break down intolerance and improve the world. In Faitheist, Stedman draws on his work organizing interfaith and secular communities, his academic study of religion, and his own experiences to argue for the necessity of bridging the growing chasm between atheists and the religious. As someone who has stood on both sides of the divide, Stedman is uniquely positioned to present a way for atheists and the religious to find common ground and work together to make this world—the one world we can all agree on—a better place. From the Hardcover edition.
The INTRAfaith Conversation How Do Christians Talk Among Ourselves About INTERfaith Matters Book Summary : The INTRAfaith Conversation: How Do Christians Talk Among Ourselves About INTERfaith Matters? by Susan M. Strouse is a guide for individuals and faith communities to explore what it means to be a Christian in a multifaith world. The Rev. Dr. Susan M. Str
Humbling Faith Book Summary : This is a book hoping to embolden doubt and sharpen unanswerable questions, all in the context of loving the self and one another. Ridiculously, it believes the world can be healed through such a hope. It is especially addressed to those allergic to the word "faith," and others who feel confident and proud in the faith they profess or system of thought they live by. Humbling Faith helps us see how our beliefs, or non-beliefs, our belongings and identities, often remain flawed, myopic, self-absorbed, unredeemed. The hope is that such awareness of our brokenness can fuel greater ethical partnerships and dialogue, promoting peace from our recognized need for one another. Humbling Faith is not only a resource towards humbling other faiths, but most importantly, your own.
Religion for Atheists Book Summary : From the author of The Architecture of Happiness, a deeply moving meditation on how we can still benefit, without believing, from the wisdom, the beauty, and the consolatory power that religion has to offer. Alain de Botton was brought up in a committedly atheistic household, and though he was powerfully swayed by his parents' views, he underwent, in his mid-twenties, a crisis of faithlessness. His feelings of doubt about atheism had their origins in listening to Bach's cantatas, were further developed in the presence of certain Bellini Madonnas, and became overwhelming with an introduction to Zen architecture. However, it was not until his father's death -- buried under a Hebrew headstone in a Jewish cemetery because he had intriguingly omitted to make more secular arrangements -- that Alain began to face the full degree of his ambivalence regarding the views of religion that he had dutifully accepted. Why are we presented with the curious choice between either committing to peculiar concepts about immaterial deities or letting go entirely of a host of consoling, subtle and effective rituals and practices for which there is no equivalent in secular society? Why do we bristle at the mention of the word "morality"? Flee from the idea that art should be uplifting, or have an ethical purpose? Why don't we build temples? What mechanisms do we have for expressing gratitude? The challenge that de Botton addresses in his book: how to separate ideas and practices from the religious institutions that have laid claim to them. In Religion for Atheists is an argument to free our soul-related needs from the particular influence of religions, even if it is, paradoxically, the study of religion that will allow us to rediscover and rearticulate those needs. From the Hardcover edition.
Gay and Catholic Book Summary : Winner of a 2015 Catholic Press Award: Gender Issues Category (First Place). In this first book from an openly lesbian and celibate Catholic, widely published writer and blogger Eve Tushnet recounts her spiritual and intellectual journey from liberal atheism to faithful Catholicism and shows how gay Catholics can love and be loved while adhering to Church teaching. Eve Tushnet was among the unlikeliest of converts. The only child of two atheist academics, Tushnet was a typical Yale undergraduate until the day she went out to poke fun at a gathering of philosophical debaters, who happened also to be Catholic. Instead of enjoying mocking what she termed the “zoo animals,” she found herself engaged in intellectual conversation with them and, in a move that surprised even her, she soon converted to Catholicism. Already self-identifying as a lesbian, Tushnet searched for a third way in the seeming two-option system available to gay Catholics: reject Church teaching on homosexuality or reject the truth of your sexuality. Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith is the fruit of Tushnet’s searching: what she learned in studying Christian history and theology and her articulation of how gay Catholics can pour their love and need for connection into friendships, community, service, and artistic creation.
After Heaven Book Summary : An exploration of the development of spirituality, along with beliefs and lifestyles, in the United States over the last fifty years, draws on interviews with people of diverse beliefs to show how the growth of personal spirituality has influenced America's religious life. UP.
Atheism Book Summary : Over the last decade, "New Atheists" such as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have pushed the issue of atheism to the forefront of public discussion. Yet very few of the ensuing debates and discussions have managed to provide a full and objective treatment of the subject. Atheism: What Everyone Needs to Know provides a balanced look at the topic, considering atheism historically, philosophically, theologically, sociologically and psychologically. Written in an easily accessible style, the book uses a question and answer format to examine the history of atheism, arguments for and against atheism, the relationship between religion and science, and the issue of the meaning of life-and whether or not one can be a happy and satisfied atheist. Above all, the author stresses that the atheism controversy is not just a matter of the facts, but a matter of burning moral concern, both about the stand one should take on the issues and the consequences of one's commitment.
Our Global Families Book Summary : As Christians, we belong to not only a diverse global Christian family but also a diverse human family. Todd Johnson, a noted expert on global Christianity and world missions trends, and Cindy Wu show how divisions within these families work against our desire to bring about positive change in the world. They provide an overview of global Christian identity, exploring how we can be faithful to our own tradition while engaging Christians across denominations and be better informed as we work with people of other religions. The book utilizes the latest research data on global Christianity and world religions and includes tables, graphs, charts, and end-of-chapter discussion questions.
Acts of Faith Book Summary : With a new afterword Acts of Faith is a remarkable account of growing up Muslim in America and coming to believe in religious pluralism, from one of the most prominent faith leaders in the United States. Eboo Patel’s story is a hopeful and moving testament to the power and passion of young people—and of the world-changing potential of an interfaith youth movement.
The Young Atheist s Handbook Book Summary : Growing up in a strict Muslim community in south-east London, Alom Shaha learnt that religion was not to be questioned. Reciting the Qur'an without understanding what it meant was simply a part of life; so, too, was obeying the imam and enduring beatings when he failed to attend the local mosque. But Alom was more drawn to science and its power to illuminate. As a teen, he lived between two worlds: the home controlled by his authoritarian father, and a school alive with books and ideas. In a charming blend of memoir, philosophy and science, Alom explores the questions about faith and the afterlife that we all ponder. This is a book for anyone who wonders what they should believe and how they should live. It's for those who may need the facts and the ideas, as well as the courage, to break free from inherited beliefs. In this powerful narrative, Alom shows that it is possible to live a compassionate, fulfilling and meaningful life without God.
How to Be a Muslim Book Summary : A young Muslim leader’s memoir of his struggles to forge an American Muslim identity Haroon Moghul was thrust into the spotlight after 9/11, becoming an undergraduate leader at New York University’s Islamic Center forced into appearances everywhere: on TV, before interfaith audiences, in print. Moghul was becoming a prominent voice for American Muslims even as he struggled with his relationship to Islam. In high school he was barely a believer and entirely convinced he was going to hell. He sometimes drank. He didn’t pray regularly. All he wanted was a girlfriend. But as he discovered, it wasn’t so easy to leave religion behind. To be true to himself, he needed to forge a unique American Muslim identity that reflected his beliefs and personality. How to Be a Muslim reveals a young man coping with the crushing pressure of a world that fears Muslims, struggling with his faith and searching for intellectual forebears, and suffering the onset of bipolar disorder. This is the story of the second-generation immigrant, of what it’s like to lose yourself between cultures and how to pick up the pieces.
IRL Book Summary : What Does "IRL (In Real Life)" Really Mean in Today's Digital Age? It's easy and reflexive to view our online presence as fake, to see the internet as a space we enter when we aren't living our real, offline lives. Yet so much of who we are and what we do now happens online, making it hard to know which parts of our lives are real IRL, Chris Stedman's personal and searing exploration of authenticity in the digital age, shines a light on how age-old notions of realness--who we are and where we fit in the world--can be freshly understood in our increasingly online lives. Stedman offers a different way of seeing the supposed split between our online and offline selves: the internet and social media are new tools for understanding and expressing ourselves, and the not-always-graceful ways we use these tools can reveal new insights into far older human behaviors and desires. IRL invites readers to consider how we use the internet to fulfill the essential human need to feel real--a need many of us once met in institutions, but now seek to do on our own, online--as well as the ways we edit or curate ourselves for digital audiences. The digital search for meaning and belonging presents challenges, Stedman suggests, but also myriad opportunities to become more fully human. In the end, he makes a bold case for embracing realness in all of its uncertainty, online and off, even when it feels risky.
Faitheism Book Summary : Over the past decade the Religion vs. Atheism debate has generated a lot more heat than light. With passionate advocates on both sides, it is possible we have lost sight of the real people and problems behind the controversies and conflicts. Where does the truth lie? In Faitheism Krish Kandiah asks us to take a long hard look at ourselves - and a more understanding look at each other. Written for both committed Christians and committed Atheists and everyone in between, this accessible and practical book can help all of us find a way to talk about the things that really matter to us in ways that encourage empathy, mutual understanding and respect and yet that don't shy away from tackling the hard topics. The ideas in this book can transform our relationships, our workplaces and our nation as it lays down a path for a genuinely more inclusive, hospitable and understanding society. Krish contends that whether you are a Christian, an Atheist or somewhere in between, we can all grow in our own beliefs and understand each other better. In this challenging exploration of the myths about Christianity and Atheism, time and again we will find the evidence shows that the truth on the ground is not what one might expect - and the potential for genuine understanding is far greater than the antagonists on either side would have you believe.
Wake Sleeper Book Summary : In 1987, when Bryan Parys was four years old, his father Alfred pressed record on a tape player next to his hospital bed. He began leaving messages for his wife, three children, and anyone who wanted to know why his terminal cancer at age thirty-eight wouldn't shake his faith. "If God told me to walk into a fiery furnace, I'd do it," he said, perhaps knowing that he would not walk back out. In Wake, Sleeper, Parys tries to understand his father's deathbed fire in the context of a Christian childhood that taught him about eternity. Unspoken feelings of doubt lead Parys toward an inner life where he is allowed to question, provoke, and search for beauty in the void of grief. Through the lens of his upbringing in a Christian school and the church that met in the school gymnasium, that inner voice emerges in Wake, Sleeper. The grief of his past contrasts with the tension of his search to fit in, told as a lyrical and often humorous meditation on time.