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A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  657 ratings  ·  82 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author and trusted spiritual adviser offers a follow-up to his classic Care of the Soul.
Something essential is missing from modern life. Many who’ve turned away from religious institutions—and others who have lived wholly without religion—hunger for more than what contemporary secular life has to offer but are reluctant to follow organized
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 9th 2014 by Avery (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  657 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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Patricia Della-Piana
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Curiosity led me to pick up A Religion of One’s Own, since I’ve always felt my personal ‘religion’ is one I developed piecemeal, to meet my own innate beliefs. I had to discover what Dr. Moore had to say on the subject. Would he discount my ‘scrapbook spirituality’, or would I find justification within the pages of his book?

There were moments here and there, when I had to slow down my reading, in order to digest the concepts he proffered, and there were other moments when I nearly hollered alou
NOTE: Goodreads has this book attributed to the wrong Thomas Moore. This book was written by the still-living Thomas Moore, former monk, educator and psychologist, not the 19th century Irish poet.

In this book, Thomas Moore calls on the reader to consider the concept that secular and spiritual are two sides of the same coin, that if one wants to have a life with deep meaning and fulfillment, the secular and sacred become intermingled and fluid in definition. In other words, religion has to becom
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Your first task is to find the place where your soul is at home." — Thomas Moore

I still struggle with that.

I found this book...validating, and written by a former monk who still enjoys a rather monastic lifestyle, but embracing the secular world. I have always viewed the major conventional religions' all-or-nothing approaches as unsettling and unrealistic as a one-size-fits-all solution to our existence. The planet's staggering population and the diverse conditions in which we are all born has
Anita Ashland
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is not a critique of formal religion, but about creating a religion of your own, even if you are a committed member of a particular religion. Here is his list of things to keep in mind in creating a religion of your own:

1. Redefine traditional terms and ideas.

2. Don't be too literal about community.

3. Feel that you have a right to learn from and practice anything from the world's spiritual and religious traditions.

4. Understand that many things, if not everything, that are usually cons
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fantastic reminder to slow down and be grateful for things seen and unseen. I can see myself coming back to this book over the years. It was had some encouraging and challenging ideas. Basically, be conscious of the world around you and be open to new experiences and ideas.

"To create a religious life of your own, you have to think things through and be critical of the information you find. You may have to do some digging to find good resources and then experiment until you are satisfied. You h
Sheryl Sorrentino
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Worth a re-read.
Erik Akre
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: if anyone, seekers of a personal religious/ritual/spiritual life
I didn't like this book. What is it about Thomas Moore that bores and frustrates me?

His topics are so important. This book tries to answer the question, How can a person integrate a personal form of religion that is courageous, deep-seated, fate-driven, informed, and intelligent? This seems so urgent in a time when organized religion has failed so many.

It's a great theme for a book, and Moore takes his stab at it thoroughly. What I don't like about his writing though is that he presents his idea
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
A book by one of my favorite authors, Moore presents a possibility for those who find spirituality important yet are somewhat disenchanted with organized religion. Not opposed to organized religion (he was studying for the priesthood in the Catholic Church) the suggestions he presents would benefit those with or without a religion. Following the same path that many have come to expect, Moore believes it is possible and essential for all to have a "religion" even if it is one that is created by t ...more
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book that I received from entering the Goodreads giveaways in which you are able to read books before they are actually released. "A Religion of One's Own" is a fantastic book that enables the reader to do just want the book says, "guides to creating a personal spirituality in a secular world." I always struggled with how organized religion requires you only believe that organized religion is right and everything that deviates even slightly is wrong. The book explains how to ge ...more
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspiration
Thomas Moore is rocking my world in 2015. This is the 3rd book I've read by him this year, and each one has captured my imagination and thrown me into a whirlwind of reflection. This particular book is one of only a few that when I finished, I immediately turned back to the beginning to start again, wishing to find my way as deeply as possible into the meat of his message. During my second read, I'm taking detailed notes. This is a book I want to study and from which I have already gleaned immed ...more
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, kindle
"Creating a Personal Spirituality" is a better name for this book than something indicating building a religion of one's own. When it comes to creating a personal religion, I feel as if Moore's missed the point and gone off of the deep end in a few places (such as when he offers up the idea of periodically dressing like a monk).

However, he does make a distinction between the spirit and the soul. The spirit of a person, according to Moore, is our infinite, transcendent aspect. The soul is our ev
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book and recommend it simply because it is inspirational and provides gentle guidance on how to consider that having a religious connection (outside of a standard, secular religion) is essential for a healthy soul. Embracing a "religion of your own" simply helps you find a way to deal with your life in order to provide a means of healing whatever life has thrown your way. For me, it has served as a means to see things from different perspectives, and this book gives different exampl ...more
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
What I appreciate most about A Religion of One's Own is that it shows how one can meld traditional religion, spiritual intuition, and personal discipline into a deep and meaningful practice without it being kooky. Unlike so many new age forms of spiritualism, Moore's approach also requires something deep of the participant - in mind and in action. I'm still figuring out where to take it from here, but that's really the point.
Steve Watson
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I had an interesting reaction to this book. Moore argues that neither being entirely secular nor following a traditional religious path will fully enliven the soul and lead to the richest life.

On the one hand, yes. I would agree with much of Moore's list at the end.
1) Redefine traditional terms and ideas.
2) Don't be too literal about community.
3) Feel that you have a right to learn from and practice anything from the world's spiritual and religious traditions.
4) Understand that many things, if
Ed Wojniak
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
At first I thought if I or anyone else would consider reading a book with a title like this one, it would be a sure sign of impending or actual heresy. While I suppose that always remains a possibility, it has occurred to me that if "religion" means to "re-connect," then how else could my connection with God and the transcendent be anything but my own connection? While there certainly is or might be an element of community in this experience, I cannot make a spiritual connection through the one ...more
Joseph Mole
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
There were many great pieces of wisdom in this book, but at times I struggled to relate with the author’s wide view of religion. I’m not finding fault with this, but attribute my struggle to my own religious upbringing being, well, less than broad. I thoroughly enjoyed and was enthralled with the chapters on mysticism, sensuality and intuition, which put into words some of my own “religious” beliefs that I’ve been developing on these topics but had not found language for.
Tegan Blake
May 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was curious to read this book because I'm not a fan of structured/organized religion. If you don't already have a lot of background knowledge about the Bible and/or Christianity then you're going to miss a lot of references. This book didn't teach me anything new or provide additional insight. Rather, it was just a rambling list of reminders to adapt life habits that help keep an open mind and slow down from the busyness of life.
Craig Bergland
I wonder if seeing everything through the eyes of myth to the exclusion of other perspectives isn't a distortion... This book is just Thomas Moore doing what he does - implying not only that every practice is good for some people, with which I would agree, but also implying that every practice is good for him AND a part of his practice, which realistically wouldn't give him time to eat, sleep, or shit. For me, once Moore gets beyond article length, he starts to become a giant written sleeping pi ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Upon reading this book, I realized that I've already done a great deal to fashion a religion of my own. I did appreciate a few new ideas, but this book would be ideal for someone just beginning to step outside the bounds that have traditionally constrained their own personal religion. I appreciate that Moore doesn't negate anyone's religion or promote turning away--he simply encourages us to expand our repertoire.
Kathy Bjorklund
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How to find your own personal practices and beliefs by studying and participating in many formal and informal settings. This book is spiritually fulfilling as well as practical. It made me feel so good about giving up traditional religion, while propelling me into a meaningful soul and spirit direction. I will read it many times I am sure.
Chris Hyde
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good book to help peel away the layers of toxic religion and help you to define your own spirituality. Thomas Moore gives practical advice on how to create a spirituality that works for you and coincides with the values you hold. It is freeing, hopeful, and practical.
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: next-up
Thomas Moore somehow opened up the possibility to expand my spirituality in ways I was already desiring, but had been holding back. He removes any guilt or shame from experimentation, which allows for a much richer life experience and provides the insight to expand ones spiritual life.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely, yet rambling

Lovely in many places but also rambling in several. I found myself skimming along several times, not fully reading. Overall though still a lovely book if you're looking for religion outside of the traditional structural version of religion.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are many pearls of wisdom in this book!
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed some chapters more than others.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good Read... Really inspirational.
Maggi Horseman
Thomas Moore has easy to read but deep thoughts on the personal nature of spirituality.
Beth Bunchman
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So many inspiring, thought-provoking, insightful pieces of wisdom in this book!
Fr. River
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Thomas Moore presents a guide for individuals to create their own spirituality outside the bounds of the traditional organized religious organizations. It is book that in our age speaks loudly to a the major portion of society that has difficulty with organized religions and their set beliefs.

From my own experience it speaks to me in that it is the way in which through the years, not knowing it,
Nov 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World is an interesting, if not altogether satisfying, insight into the process of developing a personal religion. Moore says that "personal religion is both an attitude that recognizes the sacred and a concrete action arising out of that attitude." The book then details what that attitude looks and sounds like, as well as those actions that help to devel ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Thomas Moore is the author of the bestselling book Care of the Soul, Ageless Soul, and fifteen other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating soul in every aspect of life. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist, and today he lec
“Your first task is to find the place where your soul is at home.” 4 likes
“The conscious mind is small and weak compared to the emotional and spiritual power that we call daimonic. It may be the urge to create, take risks, and love. Life may be simple when you avoid the daimon of love, but it is also less passionate and meaningful.” 3 likes
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