Category Archives: Reflections from the field

Religious Nones in Canada: A Qualitative Exploration

In this post Joel Thiessen discusses his research with religious nones in the Canadian context. The post includes a discussion of the perceived benefits of such a position, and how his research participants describe finding meaning and purpose in their lives.  … Continue reading

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Meaning and Purpose in Non-Religious Societies

In this blog post, Gleb Tsipursky asks questions about ‘meaning’ and purpose in the lives of the nonreligious. Often religion is associated with ‘big questions’. However, his research with nonreligious and secular populations suggests these questions are more than simply religious … Continue reading

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Reflections from the Field: Deconversion, Irreligion and Practical Nonreligion The Case of Leaving Ultra Orthodox Judaism

In this post, Louis Frankenthaler draws on his research with Ultra Orthodox Jewish communities to explore narratives of leaving religion, which he describes as rich in moral and social dilemmas. He also discusses the extent to which deconversion may be understood as an expression of … Continue reading

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Discourse Analysis and the Study of Atheism: Definitions, Discourse, and Ethnographic Criticism

In this post Ethan Quillen explores a discursive approach to atheism (and nonreligion) following the theoretical work of von Stuckrad (2003). Quillen suggests that researchers in this area move away from definitions and wrangling over the the meaning of words, and concentrate instead on … Continue reading

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Atheism and Stigma

Siân Eleri Jones discusses the role of stigma, particularly self-stigma, in expressions of nonreligious self-identity.   It has long been recognised that historically atheists were stigmatised and ostracised from the socially accepted and seemingly encompassing religionist norm. Although blasphemy laws in the … Continue reading

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Taking Atheism to School

  Reflecting on her research among women atheists Janet Eccles highlights how encounters with religion in everyday life can shape experiences of lived nonreligiosity. To date little research has been focused on women atheists. Mahlamäki (2012) has argued that in … Continue reading

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The Divergent Discourses of Scientific and Humanistic Atheism

Lorna Mumford reflects on how events during her field research suggest that different atheistic discourses are utilised in response to differing aspects of concern regarding religiosity. In his journal article The Evolution of Atheism: Scientific and Humanistic Approaches Stephen LeDrew … Continue reading

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Fieldwork at an American Nonreligious Summer Camp

Spencer Bullivant reflects on his fieldwork experience at Camp Quest Montana; and his observation that the camp provided nonreligious families with a space to explore their own nonreligious beliefs and identities, and develop ways of expressing their nonreligion to others. … Continue reading

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Oh, the Irony!?: Studying Atheism in Religious Studies

Steven Tomlins discusses common misconceptions he has encountered as a researcher of atheism within a religious studies department, and highlights some of the potential benefits of studying nonreligion from a religious studies perspective. Stranger:  “…and what about you; what do … Continue reading

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Does Atheist Movement Activism Increase Interest in Atheism?

Do the activities of American Atheists lead to an increased interest in atheism? In our latest blog post Ryan Cragun discusses his statistical analysis of correlations between American Atheist activity and Google searches for the term ‘atheist’. Thanks to an … Continue reading

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