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Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion by Alain de Botton

Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion

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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 15 March 2012.

For too long non-believers have faced a stark choice between either swallowing peculiar doctrines or doing away with consoling and beautiful rituals and ideas. At last Alain de Botton has fashioned a far more interesting and truly helpful alternative.


Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion by Alain de Botton

The boring debate between fundamentalist believers and non-believers is finally moved on by Alain de Botton's inspiring new book, which boldly argues that the supernatural claims of religion are of course entirely false - and yet that religions still have important things to teach the secular world. Rather than mocking religions, agnostics and atheists should instead steal from them - because they're packed with good ideas on how we live and arrange our societies. Blending deep respect with total impiety, de Botton (a non-believer) proposes that we should look to religions for insights into how to build a sense of community, make our relationships last, get more out of art, overcome feelings of envy and inadequacy, and much more.

About the Author

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1969 and now lives in London. He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas- and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers. It's a style of writing that has been termed a 'philosophy of everyday life.'

His first book, Essays in Love [titled On Love in the US], minutely analysed the process of falling in and out of love. The style of the book was unusual, because it mixed elements of a novel together with reflections and analyses normally found in a piece of non-fiction. It's a book of which many readers are still fondest.

Author photo © Vincent Starr

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Book Info

Publication date

26th January 2012


Alain de Botton

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Hamish Hamilton Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd




The Real World



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