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By Herb Silverman

An Atheist Stranger in a Strange Religious Land

Selected Writings from the Bible Belt

From Orthodox Jewish child in postwar America to mild-mannered mathematician in academia to legendary atheist activist in the heart of today’s Republican South, Herb Silverman has always been outside the mainstream of American culture, politics, and religion. From this unique vantage point, he writes about the most pressing issues of our day, including those related to war, peace, patriotism, race, gender, and church-state separation. In this entertaining and thought-provoking volume, he curates some of his best written work. Silverman may see himself as an atheist stranger in a strange religious land, but thanks in part to his work as activist and author, atheists as a whole are no longer strangers in this increasingly irreligious land.


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Herb Silverman is Founder and President of the Secular Coalition for America, and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the College of Charleston. He founded the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry in Charleston, SC, and was founder and faculty advisor to the College of Charleston student Atheist/Humanist Alliance. He is a board member of the American Humanist Association as well as a Humanist Celebrant, advisory board member of the Secular Student Alliance, and member of the Advisory Council of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He has written for "On Faith" at the Washington Post and for the Huffington Post. He has spoken at a number of conferences and written articles for The Humanist and other freethought publications. He has appeared in a number of debates representing the humanist point of view, including one at the Oxford Union in Oxford, England on the topic: Does American Religion Undermine American Values?

“In the Rationalist Utopia of my dreams, Herb Silverman would be a Living National Treasure, if not Honorary President for Life.” —Richard Dawkins, author, The God Delusion


“These lively and thoughtful essays contain essential insights on how to advance a secular, humanistic worldview in a country and a world that is still dominated by religion. The discussions are invariably judicious, wise, and thought-provoking.” —Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; author, The Better Angels of Our Nature


An Atheist Stranger in a Strange Religious Land doesn’t only give us the best of Herb Silverman. Its delightful mix of incorruptible reason, tolerance, and compassion—served with a deliciously saucy sense of humor—gives us the best of humanity.” —Rebecca Goldstein, author, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction


“Whether you believe in God or not, you can have faith in Herb’s Silverman’s ability to inform and entertain. He is an insightful and delightful conversationalist, as this collection of his columns confirms.” —Wendy Kaminer, author, Sleeping With Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety


Herb Silverman's autobiography, Candidate Without a Prayer, is also available through Humanist Press.

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