Jul 10, 2013

More 'Faitheist' Blurbs

New blurbs for Faitheist continue to come in (click here to read a previous update about new blurbs, and visit the "Praise" section for a listing of others). Below, recently added blurbs from authors Katherine Ozment, John Corvino, and Joanna Brooks, entertainer James Galea, and a clipping from Rory Fenton's review for the UK's New Humanist magazine:

"In Faitheist, Chris Stedman tells his gripping personal saga of leaving his evangelical faith for work as an atheist interfaith community organizer, and ties his tale to the larger American story. The result is a deeply moving account of one young man's struggle for meaning, as well as a prescription for the many ways the religious and nonreligious can come together. I was reminded of Franz Kafka's quote: 'A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.' For me, this book was that axe, and the voice, the story, and the humanity evident on each page will stay with me always." —Katherine Ozment, prolific journalist and editor, and author of the forthcoming Losing Our Religion: The Quest For Grace Without God

"Faithiest resonated with me in many ways—not only because, like Chris, I am a gay former-Christian atheist who still thinks of my religious neighbors as fellow truth-seekers—but also because I deeply appreciated the book's nuanced approach to contentious issues. This is an important contribution to current debates, one which should be read not only for its valuable content but also for its exemplary tone: warm, engaging, optimistic, and humble." —John Corvino, "The Gay Moralist," author of What's Wrong with Homosexuality? and Wayne State University Philosophy Department Chair

"Faitheist is the winsome story of a working-class white kid growing up amidst fragments of other people's religions, who as a teenager latches onto the energy of evangelical Christianity, then comes to terms with his sexuality, leaves Christianity for atheism, and goes to theology school where he joins the movement for interfaith justice... as an atheist. It is the story of Christopher Stedman, who at 25 years old is now assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard University and a surprising and influential new voice in the interfaith justice movement and American atheism. Stedman models an atheism that while uncompromising in its principles is also warm towards and respectful of religious believers—a striking shift from the hard-hitting argumentation of the New Atheist movement—and ends up humanizing atheism while he's at it." —Joanna Brooks, author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith

"It seems every year I read a book which challenges my views, my preconceptions, and changes my paradigm; this year, Faithiest was that book. Stedman's memoir is beautifully told with rich and vivid storytelling, and I'd bet most would benefit from hearing his story. Throughout his journey, we painfully realize just how much words can hurt—but also how they can heal. The world could do with more people like Chris Stedman, and Faitheist is a great place to begin the conversation. I couldn't recommend it more highly." —James Galea, star of Discovery Channel series 'Breaking Magic'

"As atheists and the religious debate how to engage one another, [Stedman's] is a very important story to tell... It moved me to tears. Incredibly, the message of the book and [Stedman's] professional life is one of tolerance; a call for dialogue, not division, between believer and non-believer. Confident now in his atheism, Chris wishes to use his story to highlight intolerance of all kinds—and this includes intolerance within the atheist community for the religious... The world is simply too complex to divide along the tribal lines of religious and atheist, us and them. In making active efforts to reach across this faith divide we stand not only to make useful allies in fighting the homophobia, sexism and anti-science behind religious extremism, but to build real relationships and gain real friendships. This is Stedman's challenge to his readers and I'm with him on it. Atheists and religious people have too much to gain from sincere dialogue to wallow in lazy stereotyping. ★★★★★ out of ★★★★★" —New Humanist magazine (Rory Fenton)