Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Grace Without God by Katherine Ozment

Grace Without God coverAbout Grace Without God

• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (June 21, 2016)

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.

My Review:
Four Stars
Copy received from TLC Book Tours for an honest review
I was immediately drawn to this book because of the title and its description.  Ozment presents both her own personal reflections on her journey through life and it's quest for connection.  While I think this connection is often times associated with religion, once I finished the book, it was the message that resonated with me. While also sharing her own personal struggles, Ozment gives information on different types of faiths and how they form a connection to lives big questions.I loved how the author explains that not all labels such as "catholic" "Greek orthodox" etc encompass people's beliefs and even their traditions.  I loved her definition of "homesickness" and what it would mean for her family and for her.  Since, I have young children, I found it interesting that for her young children  they would also equate a disconnection with "homesickness." I found this book to be an enjoyable journey.  I also liked that there was nothing preachy about her journey, simply reflections on moments in life and our human search for longing and connection. Finally, this is a great read for anyone. It can extent to a religious person or nonsecular. 
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Katherine Ozment AP photo by Chris KirzederAbout Katherine Ozment

Katherine Ozment is an award-winning journalist and former senior editor at National Geographic. Her essays and articles have been widely published in such venues as the New York Times, National Geographic, and Salon. She lives in Chicago with her husband and children.

Find out more about Katherine at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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