The Good Book: A Humanist Bible

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Overview

Drawn from the wealth of secular literature and philosophy in both Western and Eastern traditions, using the same techniques of editing, redaction, and adaptation that produced the holy books of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions, The Good Book consciously takes its design and presentation from the Bible. In its beauty of language and its arrangement into short chapters and verses for ease of reading and quotability, it offers the non-religious seeker all the wisdom, insight, solace, inspiration, and ...

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The Good Book: A Humanist Bible

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Overview

Drawn from the wealth of secular literature and philosophy in both Western and Eastern traditions, using the same techniques of editing, redaction, and adaptation that produced the holy books of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions, The Good Book consciously takes its design and presentation from the Bible. In its beauty of language and its arrangement into short chapters and verses for ease of reading and quotability, it offers the non-religious seeker all the wisdom, insight, solace, inspiration, and perspective of secular humanist traditions that are older, far richer, and more various than Christianity. Organized in twelve main sections-Genesis, Histories, Wisdom, The Sages, Parables, Consolations, Lamentations, Proverbs, Songs, Epistles, Acts, and the Good-The Good Book opens with meditations on the origin and progress of the world and human life in it, then devotes attention to the question of how life should be lived, how we relate to one another, and how vicissitudes are to be faced and joys appreciated. Inspired by the writing of Herodotus and Lucretius, Confucius and Mencius, Seneca and Cicero, Montaigne, Bacon, and so many others, The Good Book fulfills its audacious purpose in every way.

"I suppose some might be offended by The Good Book but they needn't be. You don't have to be a nonbeliever to find solace and wisdom in the distilled ideas presented here."-The Huffington Post

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Grayling (philosophy, Birkbeck Coll., Univ. of London; Ideas That Matter) has risen to controversial eminence as a public intellectual. This book, which his publisher rightly describes as "audacious," continues his humanist explorations with his creation of an entire scripture for atheists and agnostics. Grayling's "Genesis" has Isaac Newton's apple, rather than Eve's; the wars of Persia against Greece take the place of the rise of Davidic Israel; the lives of Lycurgus, Pericles, and Cicero stand for the wanderings of Jesus's disciples. Grayling's cagey "Epistle to the Reader" does not suggest why his humanist replacements, e.g., the defeat of Persia—in which no one emerges with much credit—have more power than, say, the death of Absalom. Throughout are faint echoes of Chinese poets, Seneca the Younger, Herodotus, Thucydides, and the Bible itself, which will simply leave many hungry for the originals. VERDICT This reasonable, rationalistic, and dull "scripture" is likely to make informed readers long for the spiky, idiosyncratic poems, histories, essays, and narratives Grayling's work at once springs from and criticizes. Some convinced humanists may enjoy this, and it may appeal to nontheistic denominations and congregations in search of a worship resource. Not likely to be of interest to the general reader.—Graham Christian, Pelham, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802778376
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 496,642
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

A. C. Grayling is a professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of the acclaimed Among the Dead Cities, Descartes, Toward the Light of Liberty, Meditations for the Humanist, and Thinking of Answers. A fellow of the World Economic Forum and past chairman of the human rights organization June Fourth, he contributes frequently to the Times (London), the Financial Times, the Economist, the New Statesman, and Prospect. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Must Read

    Finally, someone has written a book that I would actually allow my children to read. This book is truly remarkable. This book transcends all religuous beliefs. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," an intimate look at the power of forgiveness. It too is an amazing book, with a timely and powerful message.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013

    Awesome

    Great read.

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  • Posted September 1, 2012

    Worth the time...

    May be a tough read for the everyday person, but it's full of life and meaning... a great one to read again and again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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