New Books Network

Joseph O. Baker and Buster G. Smith, “American Secularism: Cultural Contours of Nonreligious Belief” (NYU Press, 2015)
A rapidly growing number of Americans are embracing life outside the bounds of organized religion. Although the United States has long been viewed as a fervently religious Christian nation, survey data shows that more and more Americans are identifying as “not religious.” Drs. Joseph Baker and Buster Smith claim that... Read More
Bonnie Anderson, “The Rabbi’s Atheist Daughter: Ernestine Rose, International Feminist Pioneer” (Oxford UP, 2017)
As a believer in free thought, a campaigner for women’s rights, and as a supporter of abolition, Ernestine Rose had no shortage of causes to advocate. In The Rabbi’s Atheist Daughter: Ernestine Rose, International Feminist Pioneer (Oxford University Press, 2017), Bonnie Anderson explores the life of a remarkable 19th-century activist... Read More
Michael Shermer, “Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia” (Henry Holt, 2018)
For millennia, religions have concocted numerous manifestations of heaven and the afterlife, and though no one has ever returned from such a place to report what it is really like—or that it even exists—today science and technology are being used to try to make it happen in our lifetime. In... Read More
Michael Ruse, “On Purpose” (Princeton UP, 2017)
Can we live without the idea of purpose? Should we even try to? Immanuel Kant thought we were stuck with purpose, and while Darwin’s theory of natural selection profoundly shook the idea, it was unable to kill it. In fact, the belief in teleology seems to be making a comeback... Read More
Dan Barker, “God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction” (Sterling, 2016)
For those of us who pay close attention in Sunday school, a troubling dissimilarity may begin to appear between what we are told of God’s personality and what we learn of it from His actions. For example, we are told that God is merciful, just, compassionate, and the very definition... Read More
Abby Hafer, “The Not-So-Intelligent Designer: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not” (Cascade Books, 2015)
Have you ever asked yourself why humans have an appendix that will sometimes explode and kill us? Why do men’s testicles hang outside the body where theyre arguably awkward and vulnerable? And if there is an Intelligent Designer, who does it like better anyway—us or squid? These and other related... Read More
Andrew Copson, “Secularism: Politics, Religion, and Freedom” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Secularism is an increasingly hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe. It is embodied in the conflict between secular republics—from the US to India—and the challenges they face from resurgent religious identity politics; in the challenges faced by religious states like those of the Arab world... Read More