[Hac-announce] Book Group Announcements

Dan Blinn danblinn at gmail.com
Wed Mar 27 15:43:29 EDT 2013

*APRIL 20 :  *"Good WIthout God: What A Billion Nonreligious People
*Do *Believe"
by Greg Epstein<http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/good-without-god-greg-m-epstein/1111548427?cm_mmc=affiliates-_-linkshare-_-eehwuskn50u-_-2%3a9780060872670&ean=9780061670121&isbn=9780061670121&r=1>

A provocative and positive response to Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris,
Richard Dawkins, and other New Atheists, *Good Without God *makes a bold
claim for what nonbelievers do share and believe. Author Greg Epstein, the
Humanist chaplain at Harvard, offers a world view for nonbelievers that
dispenses with the hostility and intolerance of religion prevalent in
national bestsellers like *God is Not Great *and *The God Delusion. *
Epstein’s *Good Without God *provides a constructive, challenging response
to these manifestos by getting to the heart of Humanism and its positive
belief in tolerance, community, morality, and good without having to rely
on the guidance of a higher being.

The discussion will be on April 20 at 3:00 pm at USNH.  Kevin Gough will
moderate.  Refreshments will be served.
In May, we will read one of the following three books.  Please participate
in the survey <http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8M5XNPS>to help us pick.  The
date will be announced.

 "Age of Reason" by Thomas

The Age of Reason challenges institutionalized religion and challenges the
legitimacy of the Bible, the central sacred text of Christianity. Published
in three parts in 1794, 1795, and 1807, it was a bestseller in the United
States, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. British audiences,
however, fearing increased political radicalism as a result of the French
Revolution, received it with more hostility. The Age of Reason presents
common deistic arguments; for example, it highlights what Paine saw as
corruption of the Christian Church and criticizes its efforts to acquire
political power. Paine advocates reason in the place of revelation, leading
him to reject miracles and to view the Bible as an ordinary piece of
literature rather than as a divinely inspired text. It promotes natural
religion and argues for the existence of a creator-God.  Most of Paine's
arguments had long been available to the educated elite, but by presenting
them in an engaging and irreverent style, he made deism appealing and
accessible to a mass audience. The book was also inexpensive, putting it
within the reach of a large number of buyers. Fearing the spread of what
they viewed as potentially revolutionary ideas, the British government
prosecuted printers and booksellers who tried to publish and distribute it.
Paine nevertheless inspired and guided many British freethinkers of the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

"Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with
its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual
survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps,
including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife
perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he
treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but
we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward
with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek
word logos ("meaning")—holds that our primary drive in life is not
pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we
personally find meaningful.  At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's
Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four
languages. A 1991 reader survey by the Library of Congress and the
Book-of-the-Month Club that asked readers to name a "book that made a
difference in your life" found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most
influential books in America.

"Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from the Class War" by Joe

A raucous, truth-telling look at the white working poor-and why they hate
liberalism.  *Deer Hunting with Jesus* is web columnist Joe Bageant’s
report on what he learned when he moved back to his hometown of Winchester,
Virginia, which-like countless American small towns, is fast becoming the
bedrock of a permanent underclass. By turns brutal, tender, incendiary, and
seriously funny, this book is a call to arms for fellow progressives with
little real understanding of "the great beery, NASCAR-loving, church-going,
gun-owning America that has never set foot in a Starbucks."

Please participate in selecting our May book by completing the
survey<http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8M5XNPS> by March
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