Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion

Alain de Botton. Pantheon, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-307-37910-8
In this highly original and thought-provoking book, philosopher and atheist de Botton (How Proust Can Change Your Life) turns his critical eye to what religion does well and how nonbelievers might borrow from it to improve their own lives, institutions, and practices—without believing in God. For example, de Botton praises religion for satisfying the universal needs for community, comfort, and kindness and for its recognition that all people are imperfect and in need of help and healing. Some of what he suggests seems unattainable: de Botton calls for colleges and universities to shift from preparing students for careers to training them in “the art of living,” something he says religion does well. But other suggestions are more exciting for their plausibility—would not a Day of Atonement, drawn from Judaism, benefit all relationships? De Botton will no doubt annoy militant atheists who believe religion not only has no use but is essentially evil, but his well-reasoned arguments should appeal to the more open-minded nonbeliever. And de Botton is a lively, engaging writer. Agent: Nicole Aragi. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2012
Release date: 03/06/2012
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-7710-2599-0
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-14-104631-0
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-307-90710-3
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-7710-2597-6
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-307-37910-8
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7710-2598-3
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-986-134-188-0
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-89-86836-43-1
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-241-96405-7
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-14-193760-1
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-241-14477-0
Paperback - 978-0-241-14535-7
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.