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Godless societies can still be moral, happy, and free
Acknowledgments Introduction 1 Society without God 2 Jens, Anne, and Christian 3 Fear of Death and the Meaning of Life4 Lene, Sonny, and Gitte 5 Being Secular 6 Why? 7 Dorthe, Laura, and Johanne 8 Cultural Religion 9 Back to the USA Appendix Notes Bibliography Index About the Author
Phil Zuckerman is Associate Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. He is the author of Invitation to the Sociology of Religion and Strife in the Sanctuary: Religious Schism in a Jewish Community.
"Much that he found will surprise many people, as it did him." New York Times "[Zuckerman] tells of a magical land where life expectancy is high and infant mortality low, where wealth is spread and genders live in equity, where happy, fish-fed citizens score high in every quality-of-life index: economic competitiveness, healthcare, environmental protection, lack of corruption, educational investment, technological literacy ... Well, you get the idea. Zuckerman (who has explored the sociology of religion in two previous books) has managed to show what non-belief looks like when it's 'normal, regular, mainstream, common'. And he's gone at least partway to proving the central thesis of his book: 'Religious faith - while admittedly widespread - is not natural or innate to the human condition. Nor is religion a necessary ingredient for a healthy, peaceful, prosperous, and ... Deeply good society.'" Louis Bayard, Salon.com "For those interested in the burgeoning field of secular studies - or for those curious about a world much different from the devout U.S. - this book will offer some compelling reading." Publishers Weekly "In an anecdotal and eminently readable manner, Zuckerman offers a novel idea within the study of religious sociology." Library Journal "Most Americans are convinced that faith in God is the foundation of civil society. Society Without God reveals this to be nothing more than a well-subscribed, and strangely American, delusion. Even atheists living in the United States will be astonished to discover how unencumbered by religion most Danes and Swedes currently are. This glimpse of an alternate, secular reality is at once humbling and profoundly inspiring; and it comes not a moment too soon. Zuckerman's research is truly indispensable." Sam Harris, founder of the Reason Project and author of the New York Times best sellers The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation