Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion

Paperback | June 15, 2015

byPhil Zuckerman

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During his 2009 inaugural speech, President Obama described the United States as a nation of "Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and nonbelievers." It was the first time an American president had acknowledged the existence of this rapidly growing segment of the population in such apublic forum. And yet the reasons why more and more people are turning away from religion are still poorly understood. In Faith No More, Phil Zuckerman draws on in-depth interviews with people who have left religion to find out what's really behind the process of losing one's faith. According to a 2008 study, so many Americans claim no religion (15%, up from 8% in 1990) that this category now outranks every otherreligious group except Catholics and Baptists. Exploring the deeper stories within such survey data, Zuckerman shows that leaving one's faith is a highly personal, complex, and drawn-out process. And he finds that, rather than the cliche of the angry, nihilistic atheist, apostates arelife-affirming, courageous, highly intelligent and inquisitive, and deeply moral. Zuckerman predicts that this trend toward nonbelief will likely continue and argues that the sooner we recognize that religion is frequently and freely rejected by all sorts of men and women, the sooner ourunderstanding of the human condition will improve. The first book of its kind, Faith No More will appeal to anyone interested in the "New Atheism" and indeed to anyone wishing to more fully understand our changing relationship to religious faith.

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During his 2009 inaugural speech, President Obama described the United States as a nation of "Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and nonbelievers." It was the first time an American president had acknowledged the existence of this rapidly growing segment of the population in such apublic forum. And yet the reasons why more and m...

Phil Zuckerman is Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College. He is the author of Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment, Atheism and Secularity, and Invitation to the Sociology of Religion.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.1 × 0.59 inPublished:June 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019024884X

ISBN - 13:9780190248840

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Mother was an Exorcist2. Stopped Making Sense3. Misfortune4. To Be Mormon, Or Not to Be5. Sex and Secularity6. Others4. Jail, Food Stamps, and Atheism8. The Apostate Worldview9. All in the Family?10. How and Why People Reject ReligionConclusionAppendix: Research Methods and Sample CharacteristicsNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"The interview data are valuable for research on irreligion in America. The book will probably be enjoyed most by readers who, like Zuckerman's subjects, have lost their religion. These readers are likely to feel encouraged that they are not alone, that it takes courage to do what they havedone, and that life can be good without religion." --Sociology of Religion