CNS photo/Jon L. Hendricks

Belief, no, but faith?

  • April 11, 2014

Trust an atheist cell biologist turned journalist turned activist turned best-selling author to pinpoint the damage of pushing faith from public life.

American writer Barbara Ehrenreich has just released a book called Living With a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth About Everything, recently excerpted in the Globe and Mail. In an interview accompanying the excerpt, Ehrenreich is emphatic that: “I don’t do belief.”

A PhD in cell biology before she took up the pen, Ehrenreich is a life-long atheist for whom materialist reason is the only god worth having. Yet she has never been able to shake an experience as a young woman on a pre-dawn walk of the “world flaming into life,” bringing with it a sense of “something more.” Her new memoir recounts that experience and explores the significance of being in a state where “nothing is left but the vague gurgles of surrender expressed in words like ‘ineffable’ and ‘transcendent.’ ” She rejects this as mysticism, yet acknowledges it as a “furious encounter with a living substance that was coming at me through all things at once…something poured into me and I poured into it.”

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