Society Without God

Society Without God

What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
3
Rate this:

"Silver" Winner of the 2008 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Religion Category

Before he began his recent travels, it seemed to Phil Zuckerman as if humans all over the globe were "getting religion"--praising deities, performing holy rites, and soberly defending the world from sin. But most residents of Denmark and Sweden, he found, don't worship any god at all, don't pray, and don't give much credence to religious dogma of any kind. Instead of being bastions of sin and corruption, however, as the Christian Right has suggested a godless society would be, these countries are filled with residents who score at the very top of the "happiness index" and enjoy their healthy societies, which boast some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the world (along with some of the lowest levels of corruption), excellent educational systems, strong economies, well-supported arts, free health care, egalitarian social policies, outstanding bike paths, and great beer.

Zuckerman formally interviewed nearly 150 Danes and Swedes of all ages and educational backgrounds over the course of fourteen months. He was particularly interested in the worldviews of people who live their lives without religious orientation. How do they think about and cope with death? Are they worried about an afterlife? What he found is that nearly all of his interviewees live their lives without much fear of the Grim Reaper or worries about the hereafter. This led him to wonder how and why it is that certain societies are non-religious in a world that seems to be marked by increasing religiosity. Drawing on prominent sociological theories and his own extensive research, Zuckerman ventures some interesting answers.

This fascinating approach directly counters the claims of outspoken, conservative American Christians who argue that a society without God would be hell on earth. It is crucial, Zuckerman believes, for Americans to know that "society without God is not only possible, but it can be quite civil and pleasant."

Publisher: New York : New York University Press, c2008.
ISBN: 9780814797143
0814797148
Branch Call Number: 306. 6 ZUC
Characteristics: ix, 227 p. ; 24 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

n
naturalist
Aug 19, 2016

look for:
“Marriage and Morals” 1929
Bertrand Russell 1872-1970

a
ANITRA L FREEMAN
Aug 18, 2013

The description seems to be of an entirely different book. A more accurate description of this book: Zuckerman formally interviewed nearly 150 Danes and Swedes of all ages and educational backgrounds over the course of fourteen months. He was particularly interested in the worldviews of people who live their lives without religious orientation. How do they think about and cope with death? Are they worried about an afterlife? What he found is that nearly all of his interviewees live their lives without much fear of the Grim Reaper or worries about the hereafter. This led him to wonder how and why it is that certain societies are non-religious in a world that seems to be marked by increasing religiosity. Drawing on prominent sociological theories and his own extensive research, Zuckerman ventures some interesting answers. This fascinating approach directly counters the claims of outspoken, conservative American Christians who argue that a society without God would be hell on earth. It is crucial, Zuckerman believes, for Americans to know that “society without God is not only possible, but it can be quite civil and pleasant.”

r
ryner
May 29, 2009

In his book Society without God, Phil Zuckerman challenges an assertion made by religious fundamentalists: that religion is the only thing that keeps humanity from falling into moral and ethical bankruptcy. Zuckerman takes a job teaching for a year in Denmark, one of the most secular nations on the planet, and finds that rather than being rife with moral depravity, corruption, crime and instability, its citizens actually rank among the happiest and most peaceful according to a variety of UN statistics.

I took copious notes while reading, as there are many quotes and anecdotes worth remembering -- an excellent and refreshing read.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at CPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top