Jeff Giles
March 19, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Religion for Atheists

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
publisher
Pantheon
genre
Alain de Botton, Nonfiction

We gave it a B-

Rather than trashing believers and beliefs, Alain de Botton cherry-picks what he finds cool about various religions, then explains how they could be modified for secular purposes in Religion for Atheists. The result is a slightly precious, upper-middle-brow tract with ideas both reasonable and ridiculous: Restaurants could promote community, billboards could advertise values, society as a whole could establish medieval-style Feast of Fools days during which everybody could ”party and copulate randomly and joyfully with strangers.” For better or worse, the Feast of Fools suggestion comes with an illustration. B-

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