Religion as We Know It

A brief, beautiful invitation to the study of religion from a Pulitzer Prize winner.

How did our forebears begin to think about religion as a distinct domain, separate from other activities that were once inseparable from it? Starting at the birth of Christianity—a religion inextricably bound to Western thought—Jack Miles reveals how the West’s “common sense” understanding of religion emerged and then changed as insular Europe discovered the rest of the world. 

In a moving postscript, he shows how this very story continues today in the hearts of individual religious or irreligious men and women.

From the jacket:

Any student of theology will be enlightened by this deeply satisfying work.—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Jack Miles has written the perfect first book for religious studies beginners. He starts with the widely held American understanding of religion but ends arguing brilliantly that inescapable human ignorance creates the possibility of welcoming the new, the unexpected, even the religious. Our self-absorbed age needs this book.—Mark C. Taylor, Columbia University

The question of the origin of religion has rarely been addressed with the erudition and eloquence of Jack Miles. Drawing on a remarkable wealth of sources across time and place, he offers much for us to ponder in an essay that is at once highly learned and deeply personal.—Donald S. Lopez Jr., University of Michigan

November 12, 2019. WW Norton, 128 pages.

More info & order:
Amazon: Paperback
Barnes and Noble: Paperback
IndieBound: Paperback
Publisher's Website: W.W. Norton