cover image Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

Phil Zuckerman. Penguin Press, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59420-508-8

While America’s mainstream churches have declined, smaller denominations seem to be attracting more believers. The fastest-growing group isn’t a church at all, but rather those distancing from traditional religious affiliations, a group known as the “nones.” In this fascinating work, Zuckerman (Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion), professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College, explores the moral and ethical foundations of secularism, addressing the question of whether you can live a good life without God or religion. Anecdotal evidence abounds; interviews with former religious adherents who have moved into secularism, both within and outside their religious communities, offer a compelling argument for the non-necessity of God in the pursuit of a moral life. Despite the amazing growth of “nones” in America, and even considering the growing trend toward secularism within many churches, Zuckerman concludes, “It still isn’t easy being secular in America.” Perhaps the accounts in this fine work will help ameliorate that. (Dec.)