The Four Horsemen: The Conversation That Sparked an Atheist Revolution by Christopher Hitchens et alWhat it is: a transcript of the viral, thought-provoking 2007 conversation between four leading figures of the modern atheist movement, with additional commentary on each chapter.
Featuring: author and scientist Richard Dawkins, journalist and author Christopher Hitchens (who died in 2011), philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris, cognitive scientist and philosopher Daniel Dennett.
Is it for you? The New Atheist movement is controversial (even among atheists), and polarizing figures like Dawkins pull no punches.
Daughter of Gloriavale : My Life in a Religious Cult
by Lilia Tarawa
One young woman's true story of growing up in Gloriavale Christian Community, the repressive cult led by her grandfather, the charismatic and controlling Hopeful Christian (né Neville Cooper). Lilia Tarawa exposes the shocking secrets of the cult, with its rigid rules and oppressive control of women. She describes her fear when her family questioned Gloriavale's beliefs and practices. When her parents fled with their children, Lilia was forced to make a desperate choice: to stay or to leave. No matter what she chose, she would lose people she loved. In the outside world, Lilia struggled to adapt. Would she be damned to Hell for leaving? How would she learn to navigate this strange place called 'the world'? And would she ever find out the truth about the criminal convictions against her grandfather?
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam HarrisWhat it is: a thought-provoking argument for secular meditation, with an exploration of the cognitive and emotional benefits that can be gained even outside of organized religion.
You might also like: Into the Magic Shop by James Doty and Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman; both of which explore the connections between the mind, body, and spirit.
Want a taste? "I am often asked what will replace organized religion. The answer, I believe, is nothing and everything."
The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will by Kenneth MillerWhat it is: an engaging and upbeat assessment of commonly held yet erroneous beliefs about the evolution of the human brain, as philosophical as it is science-based.
What sets it apart: the deft handling of the emotionally charged topics, such as the divide between the spirit and science; the approachable and conversational tone.
About the author: Kenneth Miller is the author of Finding Darwin's God and a biology professor at Brown University.
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