Skeptical but drawn to spirituality? Explore the best of both worlds.
A former evangelical seminarian and ex-Roman Catholic, Barrett A. Evans is an agnostic who has retained a fascination with contemplative spirituality. Building on what he learned in his divinity, counseling, and historical studies, the author draws on hundreds of religious and secular sources in an effort to combine honest doubt with the best of contemplative experience.
Presented in a “devotional” format, The Contemplative Skeptic is meant to be an exploration into the value of skepticism, a source of solace from harmful forms of religious indoctrination, and a stimulus for more peaceful, authentic, and compassionate living. While openly discussing the inherent problems with dogmatic faith, efforts are also made to retain the best parts of spirituality—especially a sense of focus and purpose, an encouragement to live for others, and the consolation of certain contemplative and psychological disciplines. The author’s rather iconoclastic approach is meant to appeal to agnostics, deists, pantheists, atheists interested in spirituality, and other non-traditional thinkers.
In this book, you’ll find:
- A frank exploration of the dubious and harmful aspects of traditional religious belief.
- An invitation to acknowledge the unverifiable, the improbable, and the unknown.
- Meditations and exercises for those seeking to enlarge their sense of purpose, wonder, compassion, and contentment.
- Select wisdom from a variety of religious traditions to help soften those who have an overly negative view of religion or religious people.
- Suggestions for utilizing a conservative religious past in a positive way.
The Contemplative Skeptic is a journey into the nexus of doubt, wisdom, and healthy contemplative practice. If you find value in spirituality but are weary of the fearmongering and appeals to credulity that so often accompany traditional dogmatic approaches, then you’ll love this book.