Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion

Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion

Despatched in 2 business days.
Click & Collect
In stock in 1 or more stores.
Same Day Delivery
Check available postcodes.

W1, WC1, WC2, EC1, EC2

Order now for Free delivery in the UK for orders over £10 or choose Express Delivery to receive in 2 business days.
More on delivery...


Alain de Botton's "Religion for Atheists" looks at the God debate with fresh eyes "All of us", whether religious, agnostic or atheist, are searching for meaning. And in this wise and life-affirming book, non-believer Alain de Botton both rejects the supernatural claims of religion and points out just how many good ideas they sometimes have about how we should live. And he suggests that non-believers can learn and steal from them. Picking and choosing from the thousands of years of advice assembled by the world's great religions to get practical insights on art, community, love, friendship, work, life and death, Alain de Botton shows us a range of fascinating ideas on a range of topics, including relationships, work, culture, love and death - and that could be of use to all of us, irrespective of whether we do or don't believe. In the "Sunday Times" top-ten bestseller "Religion for Atheists", Alain de Botton takes us one step further than Dawkins and Hitchens have ventured and into a world of ideas beyond the God debate..."A serious and optimistic set of practical ideas that could improve and alter the way we live". (Jeanette Winterson, "The Times"). "A beautiful, inspiring book ...offering a glimpse of a more enlightened path".

("Sunday Telegraph"). "Packed with tantalizing goads to thought and playful prompts to action". ("Independent"). "Smart, stimulating, sensitive. A timely and perceptive appreciation of how much wisdom is embodied in religious traditions and how we godless moderns might learn from it". ("Financial Times"). "There isn't a page in this book that doesn't contain a striking idea or a stimulating parallel". ("Mail on Sunday"). "Packed with tantalizing goads to thought and playful prompts to action". ("Independent"). Alain de Botton was born in 1969 and is the author of non-fiction essays on themes ranging from love and travel to architecture and philosophy. His bestselling books include "How Proust Can Change Your Life", "The Art of Travel", "The Consolations of Philosophy", "The Architecture of Happiness", "Status Anxiety", "Essays in Love", "A Week at the Airport" and "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work". He lives in London and founded The School of Life and Living Architecture.

Alain de Botton was born in 1969 and is the author of non-fiction essays on themes ranging from love and travel to architecture and philosophy. His bestselling books include How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Art of Travel, and The Architecture of Happiness. He lives in London and founded The School of Life ( and Living Architecture ( For more information, consult

More books by Alain de Botton

Customer Reviews

This book represents an unusual, indeed, in my experience unique, exercise. Namely, an attempt by an atheist author not merely to understand religion and all its works but to identify elements of its legacy which are positive and worthy of emulation when shorn of their supernaturalist connotations. This is a courageous effort, given the inevitable, scornful reaction of many atheists and secularists at the mere mention of positive works, much less institutions, stemming from a range of iron-age superstitions. It must also be admitted that it is not self-evidently doomed to failure as there is, indeed, much that religious institutions potentially have to teach us. How could it be otherwise? They represent in many instances the state itself, along with the academy and the conscience, for entire continents and extended over millennia. They are the ultimate cultural survivors and have had their noses in every aspect of human being. They must have appealed to something in our nature. So the author does indeed find much to praise in the "great" religions, and some of it we should certainly take on board. The record of secularism in, for instance, architecture has not been, let us say, uniformly edifying. However, there remains something of the smell of a dead rat about the whole project. The word "soul" is too often bandied about without qualification. The claims of priests are too uncritically accepted. One receives the impression that de Botton might as well go the whole way and become a theist, having accepted so much of the religious agenda. The question of the existence and nature of gods is in any case so vague and almost trivial in comparison to the observance of norms that Catholics or Muslims, and certainly Buddhists, would be happy to overlook private reservations in faith. It can hardly make a difference. While I applaud, therefore, the conscious effort at tolerance, recognition of the good in others and the food for thought, this atheist would ask for a little more tough-mindedness and perhaps scepticism.

- 16/01/2014
Report this Review

A very interesting basic concept and book. It provides an alternative view of many activities of certain religions and the positives that these activities and values can offer us in today's world. once their religious aspects have been removed. In a way it is keeping the baby after the bathwater has been thrown away. There are two thing which could have been better. Firstly, the way that religious beliefs are dismissed, in a desparaging way, gives a negative taste which might be better not present. Maybe it would have been more appropriate made and 'agree to disagree' type statement. Secondly, the focus is primarily on Catholocism and Judaism, with the ocassional reference to Buddhism, looked at from the perspective of western culture. There are many more religions in the world, no doubt with many more practices and values, and equally there are more ways of living than in the rush of modern cities. The title of the book suggests a wider scope than the book delivers. Yes, the introduction does say that it focuses on these three religions but almost in passing. While a fuller discussion would have meant a much bigger book to do the title justice, so maybe a different title may have been less misleading. However, it is still an interesting book and can set people off to look for similar points of views on the other religions in the world.

- 29/07/2013
Report this Review
Leave Review


Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Second Class Available free for orders over £10* or £2.50 Available free for orders over £10* or £1.00 3-7 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
USA / Canada Courier £20.00 £3.00 2-4 Days
USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

* Available free for orders over £10

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

Philosophy in the Islamic World: A...
Peter Adamson
Aristotle and the Arabic Tradition
Ahmed Alwishah; Josh Hayes
Muhammad Iqbal: Essays on the...
Chad Hillier; Basit Koshul
The Biographical Encyclopedia of...
Oliver Leaman
Latest Blog
The healing power of poetry

The Emergency Poet, Deborah Alma, explains how poetry, with its millennia of history, has long been recognised as the perfect way to soothe trouble minds.

Facing down the fascists of Dalston

Novelist Jo Bloom interviews Monty Goldman the Jewish East End anti-fascist campaigner who inspired her new novel, Ridley Road.

A recipe for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The author of The Breast Cancer Awareness Cookbook explains why diet and lifestyle are suich important factors in prevention and cure and presents one of the recipes from the book.

View all Blog Entries
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd