MARTIN SAUNDERS

religionforatheistsAlain de Botton is very pleased with himself. ‘At last’ (!), proclaims the blurb for his book Religion for Atheists, ‘the boring debate between fundamentalist believers and non-believers is finally moved on.’ De Botton is a professional philosopher and founder of The School of Life, an alternative London ‘college’ which offers courses in better living. His writing, which has included reflections on architecture, travel and work, suggests a humanist world view. This perspective, rather than one of rabid atheism, seems to allow him to view faith more soberly than a Dawkins or Hitchens.

This book gives life to his latest Big Idea – that rather than mocking and tearing down organised religions, the secular world should steal their best bits. In this book, he attempts not only to pick the choice cuts from what in his view is religion’s carcass, he also suggests practical ways in which the ideas…

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