The Good Book: a secular Bible, A.C. Grayling, Bloomsbury, $49.99
A year or two ago some supporters of prominent atheist Richard Dawkins arranged for London buses to carry the slogan: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."
This struck The Tablet's reviewer John Casey as feeble compared with what it could have been: "God is dead – everything is permitted."
But, he says, the good folk who make up the British Humanist Association would certainly have shrunk from anything so disturbing. Nietzscheans they are not.
Nor is AC Grayling, Casey insists.
"Professor Grayling has undertaken to produce a 'secular' Bible which will be more rational, civilised and much less disturbing than the real thing. It is arranged in books, some of which bear biblical titles – Genesis, Wisdom, Proverbs etc.
"It would be a mistake to assume that the ambition thus suggested means Professor Grayling is poking gentle fun at himself. He is not obviously a conscious humorist, and he takes his job of displacing the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with high seriousness.
The Grayling scriptures are made up of (unattributed) passages from the great secularists (as Grayling sees them) of the past – Lucretius, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus, Virgil, Spinoza – and more than 100 others."
FULL BOOK REVIEW: Not the whole truth (The Tablet)