Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age (Hardcover)

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Publishers Weekly "Best Books of 2016"

Spirituality & Health Magazine Best Book of 2016

Nautilus Gold Award Winner 2016: Religion and Spirituality of Other Traditions

Religion News Association, First Place: Excellence in Nonfiction Religion Books

Meet “the Nones”—In this thought-provoking exploration of secular America, celebrated journalist Katherine Ozment takes readers on a quest to understand the trends and ramifications of a nation in flight from organized religion.

Studies show that religion makes us happier, healthier and more giving, connecting us to our past and creating tight communal bonds. Most Americans are raised in a religious tradition, but in recent decades many have begun to leave religion, and with it their ancient rituals, mythic narratives, and sense of belonging.

So how do the nonreligious fill the need for ritual, story, community, and, above all, purpose and meaning without the one-stop shop of religion? What do they do with the space left after religion? With Nones swelling to one-fourth of American adults, and more than one-third of those under thirty, these questions have never been more urgent.

Writer, journalist, and secular mother of three Katherine Ozment came face-to-face with the fundamental issue of the Nones when her son asked her the simplest of questions: “what are we?” Unsettled by her reply—“Nothing”—she set out on a journey to find a better answer. She traversed the frontier of American secular life, sought guidance in science and the humanities, talked with noted scholars, and wrestled with her own family’s attempts to find meaning and connection after religion.

Insightful, surprising, and compelling, Grace Without God is both a personal and critical exploration of the many ways nonreligious Americans create their own meaning and purpose in an increasingly secular age.

Praise For…


“Combining the talent of a gifted story-teller, the erudition of a scholar, and the soft touch of a mother, Ozment takes her readers on an unforgettable examination of life’s deepest questions. Profound, moving, and uplifting, Grace without God is a gem and is destined to become a classic.”

“What an important book. I inhaled every word. Every person struggling to live a meaningful life will find wisdom and sustenance in Grace Without God.

“We are in new and uncharted territory. The family and kinship ties that once insured religious adherence are unwinding. What has been lost? Where might this new freedom take us? In her deeply personal quest to answer these questions, Ozment has created an important book for our time.”

“This well-crafted, accessible exploration of a pressing topic, full of hard questions and astute observations, can serve as a springboard for discussion by parents—and others—who wonder whether people ‘need God to be good.’”

“In this beautifully written, exhaustively researched, and deeply personal book, Katherine Ozment explores the challenges facing parents who want to raise moral, community-minded children in the absence of formal religion. Grace without God fundamentally changed the way I will raise my children.”

“An engagingly personal exploration of parenting without religion that’s clear and honest, thoughtful and deeply felt. This is a brilliant addition to the growing chorus of voices in nonreligious parenting. Grace Without God is just that good.”

Ozment is not out to bash religion or defend atheism. Quite the contrary: with insight and sensitivity, drawing from her own experiences, Ozment presents a compelling, informative, and inspirational account. Highly recommended for those who no longer believe or congregate, but yearn to live a meaningful life all the same.”

“It’s not a spoiler to say that Ozment goes looking for grace only to discover she’s had it all along. From the first page, you’ll be struck by Ozment’s gracious curiosity, intelligence, optimism, and all-around secular loveliness. I felt proud to belong to her tribe—human and godless both.”

“So many of us don’t call ourselves religious, and yet miss much of what religion offered our parents and grandparents—a sense of community, morality, and ritual. Whether you are atheist, spiritual, an occasional meditator, or a confused seeker, this beautifully-written book will help answer some of life’s big questions.”

“This book is perfect for those of us who have moved past religion but still crave community and sense of moral guidance. Ozment has interviewed dozens of seekers, academics and spiritual leaders, finding secular answers to the big questions: What’s the meaning of life? How do we deal with death? What is our purpose? A satisfying and deep read.”

Grace Without God is a pilgrimage. Katherine Ozment is one of millions who have left traditional religion only to find that not only is something is missing in their lives, but that they long to give their children the meaning, sense of belonging, and spiritual depth of religion. In Grace Without God, we are invited to travel with her as she searches religion, philosophy, and social science for tools to construct meaning in our time.”

“Ozment offers her own version of do-it-yourself religion, encouraging everyone to wonder, to seek knowledge, and to connect to a larger purpose. Grace Without God is thoughtful and insightful.”

“An informative and relatable discussion on the changing landscape of religion, society, and identity.”

“An astute journalist, Ozment deftly explores whether meaningful ritual can offer an adequate substitute for organized religion. Her candor, open-mindedness, and reflection provide solace to the reader struggling with similar issues in their own lives, respectfully honoring the ghost of religion rather than writing it off.”
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062305114
ISBN-10: 0062305115
Publisher: Harper Wave
Publication Date: June 21st, 2016
Pages: 320
Language: English