Britain's most popular philosopher on all that it means to be human in a secular age.
Drawing on the wisdom of 2,500 years of contemplative non-religious writing on all that it means to be human - from the origins of the universe to small matters of courtesy and kindness in everyday life - A. C. Grayling, Britain's most popular and widely read philosopher, has created a secular bible.
Designed to be read as narrative and also to be dipped into for inspiration, encouragement and consolation, The Good Book offers a thoughtful, non-religious alternative to the many people who do not follow one of the world' s great religions. Instead, going back to traditions older than Christianity, and far richer and more various, including the non-theistic philosophical and literary schools of the great civilisations of both West and East, from the Greek philosophy of classical antiquity and its contemporaneous Confucian, Mencian and Mohist schools in China, down through classical Rome, the flourishing of Indian and Arab worlds, the European Renaissance and Enlightenment, the worldwide scientific discoveries of the 19th and 20th centuries to the present, Grayling collects, edits, rearranges and organises the collective secular wisdom of the world in one highly readable volume.
This title covers: "Genesis"; "Proverbs"; "Histories"; "Songs"; "Wisdom Acts"; "The Lawgiver Lamentations"; "Concord Consolations"; "Sages"; and, "The Good Parables".
About the Author
A.C. Grayling is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a multi-talented author. He believes that philosophy should take an active, useful role in society. He has been a regular contributor to The Times, Financial Times, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Economist, Literary Review, New Statesman and Prospect, and is a frequent and popular contributor to radio and television programmes, including Newsnight, Today, In Our Time, Start the Week and CNN news.
Grayling (philosophy, Birkbeck Coll., Univ. of London; Ideas That Matter) has risen to controversial eminence as a public intellectual. This book, which his publisher rightly describes as "audacious," 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. Grayling's cagey "Epistle to the Reader" does not suggest why his humanist replacements, e.g., the defeat of Persia—in which no one emerges with much credit—have more power than, say, the death of Absalom. Throughout are faint echoes of Chinese poets, Seneca the Younger, Herodotus, Thucydides, and the Bible itself, which will simply leave many hungry for the originals. VERDICT This reasonable, rationalistic, and dull "scripture" is likely to make informed readers long for the spiky, idiosyncratic poems, histories, essays, and narratives Grayling's work at once springs from and criticizes. Some convinced humanists may enjoy this, and it may appeal to nontheistic denominations and congregations in search of a worship resource. Not likely to be of interest to the general reader.—Graham Christian, Pelham, MA
Praise for The Meaning of Things 'Deeply humane and subtle in its thought as well as being imbued with a rare spirit of enlightenment' Financial Times 'Grayling writes with clarity, elegance and the occasional aphoristic twist...straight alpha material' Sunday Telegraph 'An enthusiastic thinker who embraces humour, common sense and lucidity' Independent
Number Of Pages: 608
Published: 2nd May 2011
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3 x 4.2
Weight (kg): 0.93