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Atheists in America

Edited by: Melanie Brewster
This collection features more than two dozen narratives by atheists from different backgrounds across the United States. Ranging in age, race, sexual orientation, and religious upbringing, these individuals address deconversion, community building, parenting, and romantic relationships, upending common social, political, and psychological assumptions about atheists.
This collection features more than two dozen narratives by atheists from different backgrounds across the United States. Ranging in age, race, sexual orientation, and religious upbringing, these individuals address deconversion, community building, parenting, and romantic relationships, providing a nuanced look at living without a god in a predominantly Christian nation.

These narratives illuminate the complexities and consequences for nonbelievers in the United States. Stepping away from religious belief can have serious social and existential ramifications, forcing atheists to discover new ways to live meaningfully without a religious community. Yet shedding the constraints of a formal belief system can also be a freeing experience. Ultimately, this volume shows that claiming an atheist identity is anything but an act isolated from the other dimensions of the self. Upending common social, political, and psychological assumptions about atheists, this collection helps carve out a more accepted space for this minority within American society.

Author Information

Melanie Elyse Brewster is a professor of psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on marginalized groups and examines how experiences of discrimination and stigma may shape the mental health of minority group members, such as LGBTQ individuals, atheists, and people of color. She regularly tweets about identity politics at @melysebrewster.

Reviews

Intriguing... This volume should appeal to academics and some spiritual seekers.

Dan Barker, copresident, Freedom from Religion Foundation:
I used to preach that atheists are fools who lead sad, empty, meaningless, and immoral lives. Then I actually met some atheists. After reading the moving and honest stories in Atheists in America, you will agree with me that nonbelievers lead reasonable, moral, and purposeful lives.

Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic:
Atheists in America—a vital new contribution to the growing literature on nonbelievers—reveals in their own words how a wide diversity of people learned to live lives of integrity and meaning without God. The book also grants readers ready to hear it the message that not only is it okay not to believe, being an atheist can be both enlightening and liberating.

Amarnath Amarasingam, York University:
Atheists in America is a unique contribution to the literature on atheism touching on topics rarely discussed or researched. I do not know of any other book on the market that seeks to bring together individual narratives of deconversion and the challenges faced afterward.

$23.99
PDF
Edition: Pilot project, eBook available to selected US libraries only
Audience: Professional and scholarly;

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