04 August, 2016

Agnostic: a spirited manifesto by Lesley Hazelton

First off it’s best not to get too hung up on the title, or at least the part ‘…a spirited manifesto’. By all means I found plenty of spirited thought in this book, but the use of the word manifesto (list of ideas, intentions or views) is rather loose, which Lesley Hazleton fairly acknowledges at the beginning anyway… so yeah that’s off my chest (sorry it bugged me). Let’s have a squiz at the book!

Hazleton has a look at the nature of being religious including the origins of the word religion (tied down/constricted in the original Latin) and the established dichotomy (of which there are many where religion is concerned) of: ‘Religious? Why yes’ or ‘#*$% no!’ in a means to find room for her agnosticism alongside these two, rather than being equated to wishy-washy, non-committing doubt.

Hazleton looks at the religious and atheistic views on death (what makes us mortal or human), the soul (human vulnerability and coming out “the other side”) and the nature of God (a human representation of something much bigger) among other areas in establishing her stance on Agnosticism, apart from uncertainty and atheistic dogma.

Agnostic: a spirited manifesto confronts the threshold of uncertainty and encourages others to do the same rather than sidestep the issue of religion and remain uncertain. Interesting stuff!

Hazleton's prose is very easy and engaging and at a smidge over 200 pages, readily digestible. Highly recommended for everyone in the 'knowing, unknowing and ummm…' categories.

Title: Agnostic: a spirited manifesto
Author: Lesley Hazleton

Recommended by James W Māngere Bridge Library

James W is no agnostic but rather a believer in the library Gods and the power they have to tell when he’s reading what he should be shelving and when he's "checking" the "library" facebook page. Praise be.

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