by Alain De Botton
A non-believer’s guide to the uses of religion
All of us, whether religious, agnostic or atheist, are searching for meaning. And in this wise and life-affirming book, non-believer Alain de Botton both rejects the supernatural claims of religion and points out just how many good ideas they sometimes have about how we should live.
And he suggests that non-believers can learn and steal from them.
Picking and choosing from the thousands of years of advice assembled by the world’s great religions to get practical insights on art, community, love, friendship, work, life and death, Alain de Botton will show us a range of fascinating ideas on topics including relationships, work, culture, love and death – that could be of use to all of us, irrespective of whether we do or don’t believe.
‘A serious and optimistic set of practical ideas that could improve and alter the way we live.’ Jeanette Winterson, The Times
‘There isn’t a page in this book that doesn’t contain a striking idea or a stimulating parallel.’ Mail on Sunday
‘Packed with tantalizing goads to thought and playful prompts to action.’ Independent
‘Smart, stimulating, sensitive. A timely and perceptive appreciation of how much wisdom is embodied in religious traditions and how we godless moderns might learn from it.’ Financial Times
‘Beautifully written . . . de Botton is enjoying himself here, and we should take him in good humour.’ Evening Standard
‘Surprisingly illuminating.’ Church Times
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection.