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Q: If we were to replace religion with a secular equivalent, who would be our gurus?
A: We don't need a central structure. We are beyond the age of gurus and inspirational leaders. We are in the age of the Wiki structure. This means that it is up to all of us to look at religion and see what bits we can steal and place into the modern world. We might all contribute to the construction of new temples, not the government, but the concerned, interested individual. The salvation of the individual soul remains a serious problem--even when we dismiss the idea of God. In the 20th century, capitalism has really solved (in the rich West) the material problems of a significant portion of mankind. But the spiritual needs are still in chaos, with religion ceasing to answer the need. This is why I wrote my book, to show that there remains a new way: a way of filling the modern world with so many important lessons from religion, and yet not needing to return to any kind of occult spirituality.Q: Don't you think that, in order to truly appreciate religious music and art, you have to be a believer--or, at least, don't you think that non-believers miss something important in the experience? A: I am interested in the modern claim that we have now found a way to replace religion: with art. You often hear people say, 'Museums are our new churches'. It's a nice idea, but it's not true, and it's principally not true because of the way that museums are laid out and present art. They prevent anyone from having an emotional relationship with the works on display. They encourage an academic interest, but prevent a more didactic and therapeutic kind of contact. I recommend in my book that even if we don't believe, we learn to use art (even secular art) as a resource for comfort, identification, guidance and edification, very much what religions do with art.
Critique religion (Mostly Christianity and Judaism ) without putting religious people down.
Love his writing. Needs better pictures.
Interesting topic and much learned here.
Highly recommend for those curious about the future of mankind.
A clever book in search for spirituality for those who can accept miracles only in their poetic sense.Published 1 month ago by Zbig (Zbigniew ZEMBATY)
As a deeply religious person, I found Religion for Atheists very thought-provoking and stimulating throughout. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tim Holmes
De Botton brilliantly analyzes the advantages that humanity has derived from religion over the years, and proposes that the best aspects of religious art, music, architecture, and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Timothy K. Garfield
Excellent read, not just for Atheists, I learned a lot more about religion and history!Published 3 months ago by N. Uhl
We can do well without the supernatural, bigoted nonsense from the ancient world. But coming together regularly, in an atmosphere that inspires wonder and transcendence, that... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Robert K. Mateja
Like another reviewer, I found this book difficult to follow. I also thought that the author may be a latent/lapsed Catholic, as he constantly extolls the virtues of the Catholic... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Louise D. Somes
A call to thought and perhaps to action - in book form. This is a bit ironic, and acknowledged as such, in a book that urges us beyond books to the difficult and lengthy... Read morePublished 5 months ago by jinindy