Thursday, June 30, 2016

You Don't Need Religion to Raise Good Kids!

Grace Without God cover
I wish this book had existed ten years ago when I was starting my family.  Parents are often vilified for choosing to raise their children secularly, but this book provides a wonderful grace-filled guide on how to do it thoughtfully.  Katherine Ozment, a former Christian, and her husband Michael, who was raised Jewish, knew they didn’t want to raise their children in religion.  They knew the negatives of a religious upbringing, but were surprised to discover how much was lost by having made that choice.  They discovered that their children missed biblical references when reading literature in school, had little sense of community, and lacked the family traditions that accompany religious holidays.  

There was something missing.
In this chronicle of Ozment’s search for “meaning, purpose, and belonging in a secular age,” we are exposed to her fears, bravery, failures, and successes.  Ozment also delves deeply into the psychology of why religion is such a popular choice and how to make those connections in other ways.

Grace Without God is brimming with practical suggestions and resources for people of all faiths (or not-faiths) on how to navigate our burgeoning secular worlds without depriving our children of the joys many of us experienced growing up within a religion.  It IS possible to provide children with a moral compass, and answers to their spiritual questions without compromising your beliefs.  This book is a must read for anybody struggling to define themselves religiously, or looking to raise their children secularly.  I already have a list of friends to whom I will be handing this one too!

About 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.

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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 FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

1 comment:

  1. I was raised Catholic and am currently Protestant, and I feel some of the same lack of history and connection with my son since he doesn't have the same Catholic background I have. I can only imagine how much bigger of a gap there would be for parents who step away from religion completely. This book sounds like an amazing resource for all parents!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    ReplyDelete