Search results for: new-atheism-critical-perspectives-and-contemporary-debates

New Atheism Critical Perspectives and Contemporary Debates

Author : Christopher R. Cotter
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Whether understood in a narrow sense as the popular works of a small number of (white male) authors, or as a larger more diffuse movement, twenty-first century scholars, journalists, and activists from all ‘sides’ in the atheism versus theism debate, have noted the emergence of a particular form of atheism frequently dubbed ‘New Atheism’. The present collection has been brought together to provide a scholarly yet accessible consideration of the place and impact of ‘New Atheism’ in the contemporary world. Combining traditional and innovative approaches, chapters draw on the insights of philosophers, religious studies scholars, sociologists, anthropologists, and literary critics to provide never-before-seen insights into the relationship between ‘New Atheism’, science, gender, sexuality, space, philosophy, fiction and much more. With contributions from Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom, the volume also presents diversity in regard to religious/irreligious commitment, with contributions from atheists, theists and more agnostic orientations. New Atheism: Critical Perspectives and Contemporary Debates features an up-to-date overview of current research on ‘New Atheism’, a Foreword from Stephen Bullivant (co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Atheism), and eleven new chapters with extensive bibliographies that will be important to both a general audience and to those conducting research in this area. It provides a much-needed fresh look at a contentious phenomenon, and will hopefully encourage the cooperation and dialogue which has predominantly been lacking in relevant contemporary debates.

The Politics of New Atheism

Author : Stuart McAnulla
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New atheism is best known as a literary and media phenomenon which has resulted in the widespread discussion of the anti-religious arguments of authors such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, yet it also has strongly political dimensions. This book analyses the political aspects of new atheism and offers an analysis that is informed by insights from political science and political theory. The authors locate new atheism within a diverse history of politically-oriented atheisms. It is argued the new atheist movement itself contains a considerable variety of political viewpoints, despite coalescing around forms of secularist campaigning and identity politics. New atheist views on monotheism, public life, morality and religious violence are examined to highlight both limitations and strengths in such perspectives. Conservative, feminist and Marxist responses to new atheism are also evaluated within this critical analysis. The book rejects claims that new atheism is itself a form of fundamentalism and argues that the issues it grapples with often reflect wider dilemmas in liberal-left thought which have ongoing relevance in the era of Trump and Brexit. It will be of great interest to researchers and scholars in the fields of new atheism, political atheism, secularism, non-religion, and secular-religious tensions.

The Critical Study of Non Religion

Author : Christopher R. Cotter
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This book acts as a bridge between the critical study of 'religion' and empirical studies of 'religion in the real world'. Chris Cotter presents a concise and up-to-date critical survey of research on non-religion in the UK and beyond, before presenting the results of extensive research in Edinburgh's Southside which blurs the boundary between 'religion' and 'non-religion'. In doing so, Cotter demonstrates that these are dynamic subject positions, and phenomena can occupy both at the same time, or neither, depending on who is doing the positioning, and what issues are at stake. This book details an approach that avoids constructing 'religion' as in some way unique, whilst also fully incorporating 'non-religious' subject positions into religious studies. It provides a rich engagement with a wide variety of theoretical material, rooted in empirical data, which will be essential reading for those interested in critical, sociological and anthropological study of the contemporary non-/religious landscape.

Atheist Exceptionalism

Author : Ethan G. Quillen
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Due to its Constitution, and particularly to that Constitution’s First Amendment, the relationship between religion and politics in the United States is rather unusual. This is especially the case concerning the manner with which religious terminology is defined via the discourse adopted by the United States Supreme Court, and the larger American judicial system. Focusing on the religious term of Atheism, this book presents both the discourse itself, in the form of case decisions, as well as an analysis of that discourse. The work thus provides an essential introduction and discussion of both Atheism as a concept and the influence that judicial decisions have on the way we perceive the meaning of religious terminology in a national context. As a singular source on the Supreme, Circuit, and District Court cases concerning Atheism and its judicial definition, the book offers convenient access to this discourse for researchers and students. The discursive analysis further provides an original theoretical insight into how the term ‘Atheism’ has been judicially defined. As such, it will be a valuable resource for scholars of religion and law, as well as those interested in the definition and study of Atheism.

The Varieties of Nonreligious Experience

Author : Jerome P. Baggett
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A fascinating exploration of the breadth of social, emotional, and spiritual experiences of atheists in America Self-identified atheists make up roughly 5 percent of the American religious landscape, comprising a larger population than Jehovah’s Witnesses, Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus combined. In spite of their relatively significant presence in society, atheists are one of the most stigmatized groups in the United States, frequently portrayed as immoral, unhappy, or even outright angry. Yet we know very little about what their lives are actually like as they live among their largely religious, and sometimes hostile, fellow citizens. In this book, Jerome P. Baggett listens to what atheists have to say about their own lives and viewpoints. Drawing on questionnaires and interviews with more than five hundred American atheists scattered across the country, The Varieties of Nonreligious Experience uncovers what they think about morality, what gives meaning to their lives, how they feel about religious people, and what they think and know about religion itself. Though the wider public routinely understands atheists in negative terms, as people who do not believe in God, Baggett pushes readers to view them in a different light. Rather than simply rejecting God and religion, atheists actually embrace something much more substantive—lives marked by greater integrity, open-mindedness, and progress. Beyond just talking about or to American atheists, the time is overdue to let them speak for themselves. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in joining the conversation.

Nonreligion in Late Modern Societies

Author : Anne-Laure Zwilling
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This volume presents results from new and ongoing research efforts into the role of nonreligion in education, politics, law and society from a variety of different countries. Featuring data from a wide range of quantitative and qualitative studies, the book exposes the relational dynamics of religion and nonreligion. Firstly, it highlights the extent to which nonreligion is defined and understood by legal and institutional actors on the basis of religions, and often replicates the organisation of society and majority religions. At the same time, it displays how essential it is to approach nonreligion on its own, by freeing oneself from the frameworks from which religion is thought. The book addresses pressing questions such as: How can nonreligion be defined, and how can the “nones” be grasped and taken into account in studies on religion? How does the sociocultural and religious backdrop of different countries affect the regulation and representation of nonreligion in law and policymaking? Where and how do nonreligious individuals and collectives fit into institutions in contemporary societies? How does nonreligion affect notions of citizenship and national belonging? Despite growing scholarly interest in the increasing number of people without religion, the role of nonreligion in legal and institutional settings is still largely unexplored. This volume helps fill the gap, and will be of interest to students, researchers, policymakers and others seeking deeper understanding of the changing role of nonreligion in modern societies.

The Ambivalent Impact of Religion on Human Rights

Author : Hans-Georg Ziebertz
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This volume presents the most recent joint study of the research group Religion and Human Rights. This text is comprised of studies carried out in twelve countries and divided into three parts according to their respective tree continents. Almost 10,000 youths have participated and all chapters deal with the question of whether and to what extent religious or worldview convictions hinder or favor the support of human rights. Studies are comparative on multiple levels because of the many religious groups and countries. The studies take into account personal, religious and socio-cultural differences, showing the ambivalent role of religion in the striving to make the world safer, more democratic, just, and compassionate thru human rights. This text appeals to students and researchers.

The Cambridge History of Atheism

Author : Michael Ruse
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The two-volume Cambridge History of Atheism offers an authoritative and up to date account of a subject of contemporary interest. Comprised of sixty essays by an international team of scholars, this History is comprehensive in scope. The essays are written from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including religious studies, philosophy, sociology, and classics. Offering a global overview of the subject, from antiquity to the present, the volumes examine the phenomenon of unbelief in the context of Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, and Jewish societies. They explore atheism and the early modern Scientific Revolution, as well as the development of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and its continuing implications. The History also includes general survey essays on the impact of scepticism, agnosticism and atheism, as well as contemporary assessments of thinking. Providing essential information on the nature and history of atheism, The Cambridge History of Atheism will be indispensable for both scholarship and teaching, at all levels.

Talk about Faith

Author : Stephen Pihlaja
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Through a close analysis of religious believers' discourse, this book shows how beliefs and practices change over time in interaction.

Science Belief and Society

Author : Catto, Rebecca
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The relationship between science and belief has been a prominent subject of public debate for many years, covering everything from science communication, health and education to immigration and national values. Yet, sociological analysis of these subjects remains surprisingly scarce. This wide-ranging book critically reviews the ways in which religious and non-religious belief systems interact with scientific methods, traditions and theories. Contributors explore how, for some secularists, ‘science’ forms an important part of social identity. Others examine how many contemporary religious movements justify their beliefs by making a claim upon science. Moving beyond the traditional focus on the United States, the book shows how debates about science and belief are firmly embedded in political conflict, class, community and culture.