We of Little Faith: Why I Stopped Pretending To Believe (and Maybe You Should Too)

David R. Godine. Oct. 2023. 248p. ISBN 9781567927368. $28.95. REL
In her latest book, Washington Post columnist Cohen (A Walk Down the Aisle) tells how she created the space to be honest and authentic with herself and the social world around her. As an atheist growing up in and around religious communities, the author describes the everyday episodes in which religious beliefs are assumed and tough decisions are made about whether to blend in or risk being known as an atheist. The book layers the realities of being a part of Jewish communities and bumping into overt Christian expressions with Cohen’s finding ways to parent her children as an atheist. The result yields engaging and thought-provoking illustrations of how the stigmatization of atheism can result in both self-censorship and ways to overcome it. Cohen argues for more forthrightness about atheism and humorously points out what she sees as the nonsensical pieces of a religious position. She is also empathetic, nuanced, and willing to recognize good wherever she finds it, whether in the memory-enriching moments of holidays or the insights of prayer.
VERDICT A personal history of opportunities won and lost. Cohen makes an entertaining, searching argument that atheists should actively engage societal assumptions.
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