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Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199740017
ISBN-10: 0199740011
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Zuckerman introduces us to many of his interviewees whose accounts of their change of heart ... make moving and challenging reading and who appear to be happier and healthier human beings for having abandoned their faith. ... useful to those who want seriously to consider why some people reject some religion. Jonathan Hustler, Theology

About the Author


Phil Zuckerman is Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College. He is the author of Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment, Atheism and Secularity, and Invitation to the Sociology of Religion.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199740011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199740017
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.9 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion by Phil Zuckerman

"Faith No More" is a social study of why people have rejected religion. Social scientist Phil Zuckerman conducts a series of in-depth interviews from apostates of all walks of life and makes some interesting predictions. The book is composed of the following ten chapters: 1. Mother Was an Exorcist, 2. Stopped Making Sense, 3. Misfortune, 4. To Be Mormon, or Not to Be, 5. Sex and Secularity, 6. Others, 7. Jail, Food Stamps, and Atheism, 8. The Apostate Worldview, 9. All in the Family?, and 10. How and Why People Reject Religion.

Positives:
1. As accessible a book as you will ever read.
2. Fascinating social study that focuses on why people reject their religion.
3. Thought-provoking questions.
4. Mr. Zuckerman treats his topics with utmost care and respect.
5. An interesting look at the impact religion has on people. Good stuff!
6. The differences between men and women regarding religion.
7. Factors that contribute to the loss of religious beliefs.
8. Interesting interviews and surprising responses.
9. A look at various religious beliefs.
10. The impact of religious beliefs and sexuality...interesting insight.
11. Find out which academic discipline has the highest rate of atheism and why.
12. Find out what factors contribute most to our beliefs.
13. Are atheists more immoral than theists?
14. Interviewees provide wisdom, "When I was a Christian, I remember being motivated by what I thought God wanted...now, I feel like I am good because I've made the decision to be good."
15. The section of "Morality After Religion" is by far the most intellectually rewarding part of this entire book. Kudos.
16.
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By mich on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
To be honest, this is the book that I wish I would have written. As a recent apostate, I have had the idea of interviewing people of different faiths who subsequently left their church. The author does a good job of presenting the results of his interviews, and as a sociologist, tries to answer the question of why people leave their religion, and what impact that has on them. I think that this is a must read for clergy, lay people and non church goers alike.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Phil Zuckerman has made a great contribution to the whole question of religion in the interviews he has done.. the book is a telling story of religion's hold on communities and individuals who have believed but for whom the believe proves utterly contrary to the interviewees experience. The fact that Zuckerman has been able to interview persons of such varied background and religious systems indicates the fallacy of maintaining faith devoid of substance to back it up.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Phil Zuckerman did well in writing this book. Granted that it is not new or unique in its claims, it is good to see that some more research is being done on issues such as conversion and apostasy. This book gives a glimpse into the beliefs and journeys of "ordinary" atheists which is really needed since polemic atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, etc are simply not representative of the vast majority of atheists' attitudes, beliefs, and intensity. This book is a decent place to start for those who are interested in what triggers apostasy and what has made some who subscribed to one belief system abandon and switch for another. He interviews 87 people total in this qualitative study (about half were raised in California and the rest are from other parts of the country or other parts of the world). Christian apostates are the main focus in the book, though others are mentioned. For many, atheism and agnosticism became their new belief system (I would argue "religion") since just as they left a few beliefs and behaviors they also gained quite a few to substitute or replace them. Its good for some to know that atheists and agnostics do not live empty lives that are void of content. They have beliefs like everyone else. In fact, atheists are simply not qualitatively different than theists.

This book is mainly about atheists and agnostics and how or why they ceased believing certain things they used to. It is clear that most of the abandonment of previous beliefs had very little to do with rigorous analysis of the best scientific and philosophical arguments and research.
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I found this to be an enjoyable and well-written book. Ex-Christians in particular will find much that they can personally relate to. As a former fundamentalist Christian-now-turned-atheist, I found Zuckerman's conclusions regarding this group to be inspiring and personally validating - in particular his observation that most of us who leave our religion behind continue to live moral and highly meaningful lives. I also highly recommend Zuckerman's previous book, Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book in the New Book section at the library this week. It was a very personally affirming and satisfying read. My journey out of faith was multi-faceted, and included almost every "why" included in the book. I would echo other reviews in saying that it could have been a bit more "meaty", it felt like a personal study rather than a very academic one. But I'm ok with that. It made for an easy and pleasant read, and there are plenty of intellectually heavy books about the subject out there.
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