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The New Enlightenment - A Search for Global Civilization, Peace, and Spiritual Growth in the 21st Century Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Two Harbors Press (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935097180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935097181
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,941,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Author Grady Means--who splits his time between Washington (DC) and Half Moon Bay (CA)--is a self-described moderate Republican and life-long Catholic. He has been trained in business, philosophy, and engineering, and offers us a radical view of the spiritual needs of humans and the failure of religion to provide for those needs. His well-reasoned and logically presented arguments are certain to provoke deep thought and hot debate from people on all sides of contemporary religious and political spectra.

More About the Author

David Ciferri is a clinical social worker who has frequently used storytelling in his work. He was born and raised in upstate New York.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"The New Enlightenment" calls for "a new way of thinking about spirituality, civilization, and cultural progress." Its author, Grady Means, has crafted a remarkable narrative filled with perceptive and surprising observations.

Given the tone and argumentation of this original commentary, some readers may be puzzled to discover the author is a prominent Republican who has served in the White House, a formerly active Catholic layman, and a successful businessman who has managed billion-dollar global management consulting practices and authored books on international business. Yet, he is now the author of a provocative and incisive critique of serious deficiencies in Catholicism and other major world religions.

One of his primary theses is that these belief systems in their "doctrines, rituals, and codes" are "following the same path -- a path that cannot represent God's intent." He argues that they "tend to separate and rank human spirits rather than bringing them together under the rubric of love."

His concern is that "doctrinal religions are, by their very nature, opposed to values" such as "individual initiative, human liberty, fairness to the less fortunate, human equality" and "when applied in a fundamental form in the political arena can be corrosive to human peace and liberty."

Highly recommended for those who are open to exploring new roads on their spiritual journey.
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By Ana on April 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is truly brilliant. It speaks for the silent majority rather than the extremes that have hijacked religious debate. Every religion and all decent people believe we should move forward together with reasonableness, love and compassion for all that Grady suggests. It is inspiring, and reminds us of the ideals that led America to become a beacon of hope around the world.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew J. Faulkner on March 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Grady is asking us to step away from the dogma, embrace our spirituality and implement a New Enlightenment, rooted in the original Enlightenment that formed the initial colonies of what is now the United States of America.

I was brought up in a protestant household, attended Sunday school, sang and toured in a choir, played guitar and composed religious songs and assisted in running group events for children.

I watched as lives were destroyed (alcoholism, depression) around arguments about service formats, modern or traditional hymns, guitar vs. pipe organ and the hierarchy implied by being "born again". I began to think about the schism between faith and religion. I stopped attending church.

I can only agree with the conclusion that all doctrinal religion is corrosive, and the text articulated what I had "sensed" over the many years I have considered the man made nature of religion. Grady offers powerful tenets to renew our spirituality, the framework neatly dodging creation of a new dogma by asking us to connect and follow our spirit.

I have noticed that politics and religion have become intertwined. The move away from God and the Spirit has left a vacuum for many people, whether they admit it or not. As someone once observed, people keep saying "God is dead" (meaning religion), but addressing the reasons why God needed to be there in the first place are in short supply. "The New Enlightenment" covers this subject well.

I observe that politics has become like religion - unreasonable beliefs that are maintained by ignorance and enforced by like minded communities. The polarization of the US populace along feuding party lines is a testament to that. I see discrimination along party lines with exclusion by membership on both sides.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B.W. on December 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I just wish every Christian, Jew, and Muslim would read this book, and reflect a bit on what their "religions" are asking them to do and to believe, and why -- -even when it often goes against all "reasonable" thought or intuition. (And is often self-rightous and exclusive, i.e. "believe what we believe or you will not be saved, or you are not a good person".) The author, a self acknowledged "catholic" and successful business man, is a thoughtful and insightful individual who brings up fascinating "food for thought" regarding the how's and why's of what motivates people towards dogmatic religions, and what keeps them there. Although the second section on"Theonomics" has a lot of charts, and might sound too "businessy" to some people, it is dead on, and absolutely a brilliant analysis of how bureaucracies operate (which any organized religion is) and as an ex- catholic myself, it finally made me understand exactly how situations like the pedophile problem got so out of control and was so obscured by "the organization" (and why woman have been so excluded from the church)....and how muslins are willing and encouraged to do "honor killings"....and how "religions" often distort scripture or readings, and use them to control and keep people "in the flock" to support the institution ----rather than helping us each to tap into our own spirit voice. Etc etc.... Fascinatiing analysis.

There are also some thought provoking sections on the ten commandments, and so many of the things I have wondered and thought about in terms of life, death, salvation, eternity....and when it all began.... This is a book that I think anyone who has the slightest doubts or questions about their own spirituality vs.
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