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The story of a former Evangelical Christian turned openly gay atheist who now works to bridge the divide between atheists and the religious.
The stunning popularity of the “New Atheist” movement–whose most famous spokesmen include Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens–speaks to both the growing ranks of atheists as well as their vehement disdain for religion. In Faitheist, Chris Stedman challenges the orthodoxies of this movement and makes a passionate argument that atheists should learn to respect religious identity while remaining secular. Stedman draws on his work organizing interfaith and secular communities, his academic study of religion, and his experiences as a former born-again Christian who struggled with his homosexuality and became, for a time, a New Atheist–until he saw its shortcomings. As someone who has stood on both sides of the divide, Stedman is uniquely positioned to present a way for atheists and the religious to find common ground.
“Smart. Funny. Heartening. Inspiring. Faitheist is the perfect book for those seeking a middle path between the firm, opposing certainties of religious fundamentalism and intolerant atheism.”–Reza Aslan, author of No god but God and Beyond Fundamentalism
“Who can we be together? Chris Stedman asks in this powerful book. Faitheist reveals that it’s not what we believe that matters, but how our beliefs shape what we do with our lives–a timely reminder for both atheists and the religious that the goal should be neither conversion nor the destruction of religion, but rather to make a better world.”–Sarah Sentilles, author of Breaking Up with God: A Love Story
“Agree or disagree with Chris Stedman (and there will be many who do both), no one can deny that he has written a deeply human book–human in its description of his own pilgrimage and human in its call to theists and non-theists alike to seek out common ground. The world would be a better place with more Chris Stedman’s in it and fortunately he has provided us a roadmap to just such a world.”–The Rev. William F. Schulz, President, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
“Stedman the atheist pays God the ultimate compliment: He provides a vigorous, amusing dissent to the all-too-glib magical ‘thinking’ both most Americanized big time religion and most so-called New Atheists are selling. Unlike the New Atheist stars and America’s blathering religious fundamentalists Stedman lays the groundwork for constructive engagement between all of us–no matter what we believe...or don’t.”–Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy For God
“Christians like me have heard lots of ‘testimonies’–how I once was lost but now am found, was blind ... and so on. We've heard how atheists converted to Christianity, how backsliders came back to piety, and how heretics returned to orthodoxy. What we haven’t heard enough of is testimonies about how a Christian became an atheist or how an atheist became a faitheist or how a gay Evangelical came out of the closet and out of the church. I’ve never read, heard, or met anyone better suited to this task than Chris Stedman. His beautiful writing voice, his poignant story-telling skill, his clear-eyed insight, his humane and humble empathy uniquely equip him to bear witness to everyone–especially Christians like me. Rigid anti-theists and theists alike will be challenged as they read–challenged to greater humanity, empathy, and understanding. Wholeheartedly recommended.”–Brian D. McLaren, author of Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?