This project has been a couple of years in the making, but it is one that myself and my co-editor are very proud of. Beyond an Absence of Faith: Stories About the Loss of Faith and the Discovery of Self is a collection of deconversion accounts from people of various worldviews from people from a number of countries.
Kaveh over at On the Margin of Error on Freethought Blogs has read Beyond an Absence of Faith and has given a great review. Here is an excerpt. Check it the full review over at FTB:
There are some lovely sentiments in his full review. One of my favourite accounts is from a 17-year-old creative writer-to-be ex-Muslim who writes beautifully. Her account is very moving and heartfelt.Beyond an Absence of Faith is an anthology of 16 accounts of atheists talking about their deconversion and struggle with religion. It’s been co-edited by Jonathan MS Pearce (who writes the blog The Tippling Philosopher) and Tristan Vick (who writes Advocatus Atheist) and our own Jeremy Beahan (of Reasonable Doubts) wrote a foreword to it. It also happens to be my number one favorite atheist book that I have ever read. In this review I want to explain why....And if we consider memoirs as literature (as we should), a great memoir can be the same. I’d argue that reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the best class for everyone to learn about racism, poverty, sexism, and rape, and also hope and empowerment, as all these issues affected one of the most poetic and observant souls of our time.Which is why I love Beyond an Absence of Faith so much, more than any other atheist book I have read so far. Because it does the same thing for the ideas and concepts we in the atheist community struggle with. It shows them through multiple individuals. It’s a book about people and ideas, not only the ideas. It’s literature.It’s not the collection of arguments in favor of atheism. It’s not the case against religion. It’s about people dealing with atheism and religion. It’s not a book about humanist values, it’s a humanist book.The need for such a book was long overdue. And I appreciate that it has arrived.
Another one of my favourite contributions was by Vyckie Garrison, once of the Quiverfull movement. Her recollection of the emotional and physical challenges of living in an overtly patriarchal environment, where she was deemed to be a baby-making machine to equip the world with little Christian soldiers, is also particularly moving.
There is a good variety, including a good gender balance, as well as some ethnic and non-Christian-centric contributions which means this is a relevant book with something which should connect with a good many readers.
Please click on the image to get it from amazon.com, or from here for the UK. The book is on Kindle, Kobo, Nook and soon iTunes, as well as to order in paperback from all good retailers.