This book reflects on ways in which atheism is delineated by things in which atheists do not believe. While there have probably been sceptical, naturalistic attitudes to religious beliefs throughout history, this ‘negative atheism’ has largely arisen as a reaction against traditional Western theism. However, the book also explores some of the positive ways of living that are embraced by people living ‘post-Christian’ or post-religious lives, such as those who are active humanists.
The borders between different voices are not clear. There are religious people who would see themselves as both secular (not wishing to see religious beliefs privileged in the public sphere) and humanist (valuing humanity, reason and making this life count). As research shows, there are many who identify themselves as atheists or non-religious who maintain beliefs that would usually be regarded as religious (e.g. in heaven or the soul). Doctor Lois Lee’s research project talks about ‘hybrid configurations’, where an individual holds a mixture of materialist, agnostic and religious views.
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