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Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton

Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion

Vintage, 2013

This title may hit you wrong if you're religious, but the book offers interesting insight into what has been lost (in short, connection) over the last decades and centuries as the influence of religion has waned in many parts of the world. I was reminded of this book by the recent post Alienated America by the We2 bookclub.

The intense atheism of de Botton's parents made him want to learn more about the "forbidden" subject of religion. Though remaining an atheist, he concluded that that non-believers should borrow from religions because they offer a good blueprint for how to live and connect to the world. He focuses on Christian, Jewish and Buddhist traditions.
Should museums be reorganized into modern churches?

Educational and humorous, the easy-to-read text provides food for thought. De Botton's ideas for tapping into the benefits of religion without actually believing include: turning museums into churches for emotional healing; building a universal Temple to Reflection for meditation; the creation of psychotherapeutic travel agencies to advise people where to travel depending on their ailment.

De Botton is the author of several other books related to well-being and a seasoned speaker. You can find his videos on youtube.

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