A guidebook for living a life without religion, combining sociological insight and personal inspiration
Over the last twenty-five years, “no religion” has become the fastest growing religion in the United States. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people have turned away from the traditional faiths of the past and embraced a secular—or nonreligious—life, generating societies vastly less religious than at any other time in human history. Revealing the inspiring beliefs that empower secular culture—alongside real stories of nonreligious men and women, based on extensive in-depth interviews from across the country—Living the Secular Life is an indispensable handbook for millions of secular Americans.
Drawing on innovative sociological research, Living the Secular Life illuminates this demographic shift with the moral convictions that govern
secular individuals, offering crucial information for religious and nonreligious alike. Living the Secular Life reveals that, despite opinions to the contrary, nonreligious Americans possess a unique moral code that allows them to effectively navigate the complexities of modern life. Spiritual self-reliance, clear-eyed pragmatism, and an abiding faith in the Golden Rule to adjudicate moral decisions, such common principles—among others—are shared across secular society. Living the Secular Life demonstrates these principles in action and points to their usage throughout daily life.
Phil Zuckerman is a sociology professor at Pitzer College, where he studied the lives of the nonreligious for years before founding a Department of Secular Studies—the first such academic program in the nation dedicated to exclusively studying secular culture and the sociological phenomena of America’s fastest growing “faith.” Zuckerman discovered that despite the entrenched negative beliefs about nonreligious people, American secular culture is grounded in deep morality and proactive citizenship—indeed, some of the very best that the country has to offer.
Published in the heart of the holiday season when millions of Americans seem willfully excluded from the public sphere, Living the Secular
Life will be a cherished guide for the season and for years to come. A manifesto for a booming social movement—and a revelatory survey of this overlooked community—Living the Secular Life offers essential and long-awaited information for anyone building a life based on their own principles.