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"With Faith No More Philip Zuckerman has given us a fascinating look at how individual contemporary Americans raised in various religions awakened out of a belief in the supernatural. His care in not rounding all these up into any facile overarching theories is itself almost supernatural, and yet in this careful reporting of their stories he manages to offer a great deal of insight. It is a wonderfully informative and provocative study and should be read by everyone interested in the real experience of religion and irreligion."
—Jennifer Michael Hecht, author of Doubt: A History
"Faith No More helps us understand the diverse routes people take to irreligiosity and the dilemmas they face in a culture that often condemns them. Far from being kneejerk atheists, it turns out that the most secular Americans have actually spent a lot of time wrestling with their faith. Documenting their journeys and placing them in sociological context, this book establishes Phil Zuckerman as one of the most sophisticated analysts of secularity today." —Arlene Stein, Professor of Sociology, Rutgers University
"This could-be-dry content proves immensely engaging becuase of Zuckerman's jargin-free exposition and his seamless incorporation of interview material rendered apparently verbatim-verbal tics("like,""you know," etc) and all-in the manner of a good documentart film."—Ray Olson, Booklist
"Zuckerman's writing is engaging and straightforward, which makes for enjoyable reading...[Faith No More] is laudable for its rich interview data, readability, and insight into the lived experiences of American apostates."—Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
"This is an absorbing book that puts flesh on the bones of recent identifiable trends in American nonbelief and, in turn, profoundly questions the assumption of a 'spiritual turn' in Western societies. Moreover, it provides distinctive insights into the complexities of belief, nonbelief, doubt and scepticism."—Social Forces
"Zuckerman here builds on his previous work which examined 'Society without God,' that is, Nordic countries which rank amongst the least religious places in the world. In this book he combines qualitative interviews and rich descriptions to produce an interesting and well written book."—Catholic Books Review
"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 have done, and that life can be good without religion."—Sociology of Religion
Chapter One: Mother was an Exorcist
Chapter Two: Stopped Making Sense
Chapter Three: Misfortune
Chapter Four: To be Mormon, or Not to Be
Chapter Five: Sex and Secularity
Chapter Six: Others
Chapter Seven: Jail, Food Stamps, and Atheism
Chapter Eight: The Apostate Worldview
Chapter Nine: All in the Family?
Chapter Ten: How and Why People Reject Religion
Appendix: Research Methods and Sample Characteristics
Posted December 15, 2011
No text was provided for this review.