Largehearted Boy: A Music and Literature Blog invited me to write a list of songs to accompany Faitheist for their “Book Notes” series. For reasons I explain in this piece, I reference songs and musicians all throughout the book—so creating a companion soundtrack was a really fun process, and it felt very fitting.
Yes, my book’s soundtrack includes “She Wolf” by Shakira. No, I’m not sorry.
Chris Stedman’s book Faitheist is both memoir and manifesto, chronicling his life in and out of faith as a young gay male and calling for common ground and dialogue between non-believers and the religious. His life story is fascinating and engaging and his arguments crisp and intelligent in this timely, important book.
Booklist wrote of the book:
“…he paints an intimate and deeply affecting portrait of his own life, one characterized by the sort of staggering dissonances—gay Christian teen, religion-degree-seeking atheist—that could cripple a person. But Stedman is nothing if not determined, and his resulting journey toward personal reconciliation through service work and interfaith dialogue is inspiring. Stedman’s story is motivational, his thoughts on interreligious dialogue insightful, and in this short memoir, he proves himself an activist in the truest sense and one to watch.”
In his own words, here is Chris Stedman’s Book Notes music playlist for his book, Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious:
I believe that the universe contains no preordained meaning—that, as humans, we create our own. Alongside community, dialogue, and education, music is one of the ways I find meaning most readily. I wrote a music review column in college, and continued to post embarrassingly exhaustive lists of my favorite albums of the year on my own blog for years. At the beginning of Faitheist, I admit that I once dreamed of being a rapper. (I still daydream about it.) Though my writing and work today are focused on religion and atheism, music will always be one of my greatest passions and a huge source of inspiration. . . .