Sleeping with Extra-terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety

Front Cover
Pantheon Books, 1999 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 278 pages
5 Reviews
In Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials, Wendy Kaminer argues that we are a society intoxicated by the irrational: religion, spirituality, and popular therapies threaten to replace rational thought with supernaturalism and impassioned but unexamined personal testimony. Ranging from our fascination with angels, aliens, and near- death experiences to the rise of junk science, the recovery movement, and the digital culture, Kaminer points out the amusing and ominous effects of our deference to spiritual authorities and resistance to critical thinking. She questions conventional wisdom about the association of religious belief with virtue, identifying the sectarianism of efforts to establish religion in the public square. With both wit and empathy, Kaminer takes on what many people hold sacred.
Kaminer is an eloquent and incisive critic and rationalist living in a superstitious, evangelical age. In Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials she challenges us to exercise skepticism, reason, and irreverence and to appreciate the pleasures of free inquiry.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Sleeping With Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety

User Review  - Goodreads

Author raises some interesting points. Read full review

Review: Sleeping With Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety

User Review  - Goodreads

I enjoy Wendy Kaminer's writing, but I waited entirely too long on this book and it dated itself. Also she's a militant agnostic, to the detriment of atheism. Her attacks on New Age and therapeutic culture were sound and welcome. Read full review



7 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Wendy Kaminer is the author of five previous books, including I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional; her articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Nation, and The New Republic. She is a contributing editor at The Atlantic Monthly and a fellow at Radcliffe College.

Bibliographic information