The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality

The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality

Book - 2007
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Penguin Putnam
A brilliant, elegant argument for spirituality without God

Can we do without religion? Can we have ethics without God? Is there such thing as ?atheist spirituality?? In this powerful book, the internationally bestselling author André Comte-Sponville presents a philosophical exploration of atheism?and comes to some startling conclusions. According to Comte-Sponville, we have allowed the concept of spirituality to become intertwined with religion, and thus have lost touch with the nature of a true spiritual existence. In order to change this, however, we need not reject the ancient traditions and values that are part of our heritage; rather, we must rethink our relationship to these values and ask ourselves whether their significance comes from the existence of a higher power or simply the human need to connect to one another and the universe. Comte-Sponville offers rigorous, reasoned arguments that take both Eastern and Western philosophical traditions into account, and through his clear, concise, and often humorous prose, he offers a convincing treatise on a new form of spiritual life.

Baker & Taylor
Poses an argument for living a spiritual life that is not dependent on religion, explaining that an acceptance of philosophical spiritual traditions and values does not require practitioners to embrace the existence of a higher order.

Book News
One of France's leading contemporary philosophers argues for the viability of spirituality and ethical living sans organized religion or God; he views dogmatism and terrorism as mutually reinforcing. As a disaffected Catholic, he concludes that: "Truth, not faith, is what sets us free" and that "Eternity is now." Suggested reading is listed. This is a translation of the French edition published in 2006 as L'esprit de l'atheisme (by Editiones Albin Michel, Paris), Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell North Amer
According to Andre Comte-Sponville, we have allowed the concept of spirituality to become intertwined with religion and thus have lost touch with the nature of a true spiritual existence. In order to change this, however, we need not reject the ancient traditions and values that are part of our heritage; rather, we must rethink our relationship to these values and ask ourselves whether their significance comes from the existence of a higher power or simply from the human need to connect to one another and the universe.
Comte-Sponville offers rigorous, reasoned arguments that take both Eastern and Western philosophical traditions into account, and he uses his personal experience as a child raised in the Catholic church as an illuminating example of the loss of faith in God but not in spirituality. Through his clear, concise, and often humorous prose, he offers a convincing treatise on a new form of spiritual life.

Publisher: New York : Viking Press, 2007
ISBN: 9780670018475
Characteristics: 212 p

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jlcaine
Dec 13, 2010

This is the best rendering of rational thought on spirituality I have ever read. This book has literally changed the way I now think about spirituality.

While many people think a god is needed to be a moral person, Comte-Sponville offers another, more enlightening way of looking at morality. He says that fidelity (to humanity) is more important than faith (to a god). To be the best human being one can be for the sake of having the best version of humanity we can have - that is the purpose of spirituality.

To that end, communion, not religion, is the goal of our quest to understand the universe's mystery. In other words, it is ourselves, not god, that we are seeking.

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