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The Good Book

A Humanist Bible

A C Grayling

Bloomsbury USA

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ISBN10: 0802778372
ISBN13: 9780802778376


608 Pages



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Few, if any, thinkers and writers today would have the imagination, the breadth of knowledge, the literary skill, and—yes—the audacity to conceive of a powerful, secular alternative to the Bible. But that is exactly what A.C. Grayling has done by creating a non-religious Bible, drawn from the wealth of secular literature and philosophy in both Western and Eastern traditions, using the same techniques of editing, redaction, and adaptation that produced the holy books of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions. The Good Book consciously takes its design and presentation from the Bible in the beauty of its language and arrangement into short chapters and verses for the ease of reading and quoting. Moreover, it also offers to the non-religious seeker all the wisdom, insight, solace, inspiration, and perspective of secular humanist traditions. Organized in 12 main sections—Genesis, Histories, Wisdom, The Sages, Parables, Consolations, Lamentations, Proverbs, Songs, Epistles, Acts, and the Good—The Good Book opens with meditations on the origin and progress of the world and human life in it, then devotes attention to the question of how life should be lived, how we relate to one another, and how vicissitudes are to be faced and joys appreciated. Incorporating the writing of Herodotus and Lucretius, Confucius and Mencius, Seneca and Cicero, Montaigne, Bacon, and others, The Good Book will fulfill its audacious purpose in every way.


Praise for The Good Book

"You don't have to be a nonbeliever to find solace and wisdom in the distilled ideas presented here."—The Huffington Post

"There is an immense depth of human wisdom on display here, and five minutes with any passage will have you contemplating all day"—The Independent / on Sunday

"An extravagantly erudite manifesto for rational thought"—The Guardian (UK)

"Full of sage counsel, wise advice and comfort for the sorrowing"—The Observer (London)

"Undeniably thought-provoking"—The Sunday Times (London)

"Grayling has risen to controversial eminence as a public intellectual. This book . . . continues his humanist explorations with his creation of an entire scripture for atheists and agnostics. Grayling's 'Genesis' has Isaac Newton's apple, rather than Eve's; the wars of Persia against Greece take the place of the rise of Davidic Israel; the lives of Lycurgus, Pericles, and Cicero stand for the wanderings of Jesus's disciples."—The Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

A C Grayling

A. C. Grayling is a professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of the acclaimed Among the Dead Cities, Descartes, Toward the Light of Liberty, Meditations for the Humanist, and Thinking of Answers. A fellow of the World Economic Forum and past chairman of the human rights organization June Fourth, he contributes frequently to the Times (London), the Financial Times, the Economist, the New Statesman, and Prospect. He lives in London.