New Book Encourages People to Face Religious Irrationality Head-On

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Philip Stewart’s ‘Beyond Belief’ explains, in terms that believers can understand, atheist’s unbelief.

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There is so much religious pressure in American life (and politics) that the individual’s absolute right to unbelief needs constantly to be asserted

“There is so much religious pressure in American life (and politics) that the individual’s absolute right to unbelief needs constantly to be asserted,” says author Philip Stewart. In the United States, the 2012 Pew Research Survey results regarding people’s belief in God show that 91% of the general population believes in God and 69% are absolutely certain about it. At only 7% of the population, those professing unbelief, atheism, are vastly outnumbered. In “Beyond Belief” (published by Xlibris), Stewart shares his experience and his reasons in hopes of helping those who would otherwise waver or even acquiesce to the ambient pressure.

“Beyond Belief” explains to a believer how it can happen that, through no particular act or decision, faith can ebb away. Stewart shows that most of the reasons people give for their belief systems make no sense, how Christianity fails to meet even simple tests of credibility.

An excerpt from the book reads:
Priests and ministers have always known that in encouraging people to pray they cannot tell them to expect any particular result, but this remains a trade secret. “Prayer changes things” was one of the slogans in our church. But it doesn’t. It may have some effect on the person who is praying, as might any other form of self-administered psychotherapy. If you pray for rain, it may rain; but don’t count on it, and in any event there will be no connection between the two.

Stewart writes in a softer tone as compared to other “new atheist” books that he has read. “Many people vaguely follow a religion without giving it any critical thought,” he says, “they can be helped by realizing that it is very simple and not only satisfactory, but satisfying to do without.” As a person who was raised religiously, he speaks in terms that at least some believers or former believers could relate to and, in making that connection, he seeks to give them the courage to face religious irrationality head-on.

“Beyond Belief”
By Philip Stewart
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 190 pages | ISBN 9781499073201
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 190 pages | ISBN 9781499073218
E-Book | 190 pages | ISBN 9781499073225
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Philip Stewart was raised in Kansas City, Mo. He attended college and graduate school at Yale with a PhD in French in 1967. He taught four years at Harvard, thereafter at Duke, a specialist in French literature, art and intellectual history of the Enlightenment.

Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.

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