9781474224499

Becoming Atheist Humanism and the Secular West

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781474224499

  • ISBN10:

    1474224490

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-01-12
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Summary

The Western World is becoming atheist. In the space of three generations churchgoing and religious belief have become alien to millions. We are in the midst of one of humankind's great cultural changes. How has this happened?

Becoming Atheist explores how people of the sixties' generation have come to live their lives as if there is no God. It tells the life narratives of those from Britain, Western Europe, the United States and Canada who came from Christian, Jewish and other backgrounds to be without faith. Based on interviews with 85 people born in 18 countries, Callum Brown shows how gender, ethnicity and childhood shape how individuals lose religion.

This book moves from statistical and broad cultural analysis to use frank, humorous and sometimes harrowing personal testimony. Becoming Atheist exposes people's role in renegotiating their own identities, and fashioning a secular and humanist culture for the Western world.

Author Biography

Callum G. Brown is Professor of Late Modern European History at the University of Glasgow, UK. He is author of The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularisation 1800-2000 (2nd edition 2009) and Religion and the Demographic Revolution: Women and Secularisation in Canada, UK, Ireland and USA since the 1960s (2012).

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
1. Introduction
2. Belief and Unbelief in the Oral History Archive
3. The Atheist Child
4. The Silent Atheist
5. Femininity, Feminism and becoming Faithless
6. Masculinity, Reason and Radicalism
7. Atheism and Ethnicity
8. The Humanist Condition
Sources
Index

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