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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 198

Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a nonfiction book by the late Stephen Hawking, which was published posthumously in October of 2018. The book's contents are an accumulation of Hawking's writings from various essays on physics and science in general. Materials for the book are also taken from Hawking's keynote speeches and lectures. The title of the book evokes images of holy texts or major philosophical schools of thought, especially with the term "big questions." In a sense, this particular book, along with the rest of Hawking's entire body of work, is a "spiritual" manifesto that preaches the validity and importance of science.

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Hawking was a major proponent of science-as-religion over the past decades but never stated such sentiments blatantly. Essentially, this book can be seen as anti-religious, but not in a divisive or combative way. Hawking believed that science could provide answers to deep existential questions and solutions to problems that plague our existence. This is contrasted against religious institutions that claim to offer answers to "big questions" but only end up provoking more questions. Hawking argued that science, on the other hand, could offer tangible or life-changing solutions that could benefit human civilization and planet Earth.

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