Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious

Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious

by Chris Stedman
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Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious by Chris Stedman

The story of a former Evangelical Christian turned openly gay atheist who now works to bridge the divide between atheists and the religious
The stunning popularity of the “New Atheist” movement—whose most famous spokesmen include Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens—speaks to both the growing ranks of atheists as well as their vehement disdain for religion. In Faitheist, Chris Stedman challenges the orthodoxies of this movement and makes a passionate argument that atheists should learn to respect religious identity while remaining secular. Stedman draws on his work organizing interfaith and secular communities, his academic study of religion, and his experiences as a former born-again Christian who struggled with his homosexuality and became, for a time, a New Atheist—until he saw its shortcomings. As someone who has stood on both sides of the divide, Stedman is uniquely positioned to present a way for atheists and the religious to find common ground.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807014394
Publisher: Beacon
Publication date: 11/06/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 1,303,876
Product dimensions: 5.84(w) x 8.64(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Chris Stedman is the Interfaith and Community Service Fellow for the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University, the emeritus managing director of State of Formation at the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, and the founder of the first blog dedicated to exploring atheist-interfaith engagement, NonProphet Status. Stedman writes for the Huffington Post, the Washington Post’s On Faith blog, and Religion Dispatches. He lives in Boston.

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Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Nathan_Dunbar More than 1 year ago
As a follower of Chris Stedman's work, I've come to know a bit of the path he's taken over his short yet full life and how that path has brought him to the space he now occupies. I, too, am of the "kinder, gentler atheist" ilk and knowing for over a year this book was forthcoming has been an almost agonizing wait, exacerbated even further by the tantalizing snippets posted on his blog. I understand how Chris strives daily to promote constructive pluralistic discourse among all belief systems and have heard how moments in his past have shaped the ideals of his work. But I also had to wonder: what could a 24 year old possibly have accrued in life experiences that would warrant an entire book? Was this ambition wrought from naiveté, conceit, or both? After consuming its pages in just over a day of reading, how wonderful to discover that neither virtue weighed very heavily in its conception. Part of the plight of an atheist is the pervasive, incessant discomfort we feel at being open about who we are. Nearly every revelation of this identity is in some small measure akin to a gay person coming out of the closet. Over time we grow weary and often find ourselves avoiding the subject altogether. In Faitheist though, Stedman bravely blows down the proverbial door of his own closet and invites the reader in, leading us along the winding path of his journey, intent on baring naked all the missteps and lighted tunnels that molded the Humanist he is today. Without taking the professor's lectern, he pushes us to consider finding ways in our own lives to listen, question, and even embrace different ideas for what good they can do and how they relate to our own. But in the end, Faitheist really isn't a Humanist "manifesto" nor is it a directive of action. Its intent is to get us to look inward and reflect on our own choices, past and future. Stedman asks "Given that we are here, what will we do? What is the greatest value of our action?" This is the message, the goal, the endpoint. Ultimately, it's a story, Chris's story. Raw, heartbreaking, beautiful, challenging, and (most importantly) hopeful.
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