Without Gods: Alain de Bottonâ€™s â€˜Religion for Atheistsâ€™
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, religion lost influence, but the religious impulse lingered on. Some people sought salvation in the secular religions of politics â€” in Communism, fascism and various utopian experiments. Others saw artists, musicians and writers as Holy Men, who could provide transcendence and meaning, revealing timeless truths on how to live.
These days politics and culture have more modest aims. As the writer and freelance philosopher Alain de Botton argues in â€œReligion for Atheists,â€ cultural and intellectual institutions are no longer about the salvation of souls.