Jacques Berlinerblau on set Conceived in Paris and born in Portland, Maine ca. 1966, Jacques Berlinerblau is Associate Professor and Director of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University. He received his first doctorate in ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University in 1991. A second doctorate in theoretical sociology followed in 1999 at the New School for Social Research.

At the tender age of twenty-four, Jacques undertook his first professoring gig, at CUNY-Kingsborough Community College, where he became intimately acquainted with Brooklyn’s peculiar archipelago-like inlets.

Since then, he has taught around the country and his research interests are…well…basically everything. Jacques has written about the composition of the Hebrew Bible and the use of scriptures in American political rhetoric, to name but two topics. For a while there, he was considered to be a “sociologist of heresy”–a research project that was abandoned upon arrival in Washington, DC, where he drank the Kool-Aid of political punditry.

Jacques may just be–there is some controversy about this–the person who coined the term “faith and values politicking,” a subject he has written about for The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

But there’s more! The excitable Berlinerblau has also spent a good deal of his teaching career in comp lit departments, where he specializes in Jewish American literature, particularly the massive canon of one Philip Milton Roth.

How to Be Secular is Jacques’ fifth book and unequivocally his favorite. To hear Jacques say it, “It’s, like, the opposite of dry toast on a cloudy day.”

An un-accomplished vibraphone player and dedicated jazz enthusiast, Jacques lives in DC with his wife, two sons, an ornery bird, and a fish. He hopes to return to New York one day, seeing as he likes nothing about Washington except for the Whitehurst Freeway, which he particularly enjoys during off-peak hours.

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    A rousing defense of America’s secular roots as our nation’s best way to protect freedom of—and from—religion
    "How to Be Secular serves as an important reminder that . . . as I have noted in the past . . . we protect our rights to our personal beliefs by preserving the rights of our neighbors to believe otherwise. I agree wholeheartedly with Berlinerblau’s argument and highly recommend this powerful book.”

    —MARIO M. CUOMO, former New York Governor
    “This insightful book is not designed to convince you of the non-existence of God or the afterlife; it exists to convince both the non-theistic and the religious that if we don’t find a way to work together, we will all pay a heavy price. Berlinerblau makes a compelling, urgent case, with rigorous regard to history as well as a keen eye for the relevance of today’s many new variations of fundamentalism.”

    —BARRY LYNN, executive director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

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