Practicing Atheism: Culture, Media, and Ritual in the Contemporary Atheist Network

ISBN : 9780197536940

Hannah K. Scheidt
224 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jul 2021
Send mail

The number of people claiming no religious affiliation has skyrocketed in recent years, and that growth shows no signs of slowing down. But while the religiously unaffiliated demonstrate a variety of attitudes toward religious belief-including, in many cases, a complete lack of interest-a prominent subset of nonbelievers has claimed the mantle of "atheism." For them, atheism has become a marker of identity and a source of community. However, atheists themselves often disagree about core ideas, values, affinities, and attitudes. Contemporary atheist culture is marked by debates over deconversion, the relationship between science and religion, and the role of authority. What exactly does it mean to be an "atheist" beyond a simple lack of belief in a higher power? Hannah K. Scheidt's Practicing Atheism: Culture, Media, and Ritual in the Contemporary Atheist Network examines the variety of cultural products, both corporate-driven and grassroots, that carry messages about atheism and its relationships to religion. Through primary source materials such as Internet communities, popular television programming, and cultural representations of the movement such as those found in atheist fan art, the book paints a portrait of a culture in unique tension with religion, and provides a unique perspective on whether or not organized atheism constitutes a belief system in itself.


Chapter One
Deconversion Narratives: True and Enlightened Selves
Chapter Two
Scientific Myth: Science, Religion, and Atheism in Popular Television
Chapter Three
Autonomy or Authority?: Ideology, Charisma, and Patriarchy
Chapter Four
Ritualized Debate: Order, Redemption and Power in a Contemporary Media Practice
Chapter Five
Atheist Indoctrination?: Practicing Atheism in Parenthood
Culture War as Culture Ritual

About the author: 

Hannah K. Scheidt received her PhD in religion studies from Northwestern University. Her work focuses on contemporary (non)religious thought, media, and theories of religion. She has contributed to the anthologies Religion and Transhumanism: The Unknown Future of Human Enhancement and American Examples: A New Conversation About Religion.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.