NSRN Annual Lecture:
Is Atheism a Religion?
Dr Miguel Farias, Coventry University
Dr Jonathan Lanman, Queens University Belfast
Professor Christopher French, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Lois Lee (Chair), UCL
Psychological & Anthropological Perspectives.
Over the last decade, the number of individual atheists, the number and size of atheist organizations, and the amount of public discourse on atheism have all substantially increased. This growth has led to a number of public debates concerning the impacts of atheism and theism on individual moral behaviour, well-being, and social cohesion, as well as on the merits of secularism and religion in public life.
One question that often arises in such discussion is whether atheism should itself be considered a religion and whether atheists are 'just as religious' or 'just as fundamentalist' as theists. Some atheists answer the question negatively and reject what they see as a false equivalence between atheism and religious beliefs. Others wish to see atheism and humanism included in religious education curricula.
But just what is atheism and what is religion? This panel will consider atheism and religion from the perspectives of psychology and anthropology and will seek to bring scientific theory and evidence to bear on these questions and establish how it might (and might not) make sense to liken atheism to a religion.
Dr Miguel Faris is a Reader in Cognitive & Biological Psychology at the Department of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University.
Dr Jonathan Lanman is a lecturer in Anthropology at the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queens University Belfast.
Christopher French is Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Dr Lois Lee is a Research Associate at the Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL.
This lecture follows the SSNB Roundtable: Who cares about unbelief?
For further information and to register for the event, please click here.
Date and Time
Archaeology G6 Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor
UCL Institute of Archaeology
31-34 Gordon Square