Recent studies show that atheism is increasing. The reasons for this development have not as yet been examined thoroughly. Many atheists continue to be residual groups in surveys on religiosity, making it difficult to examine who they are and why they have chosen to be atheists.
Moreover, they are minority groups in most countries (former Soviet bloc countries are left out of discussion); many do not identify with any organized groups of atheists or agnostics. Atheist groups and ideologies, then, represent a wide range of attitudes, behaviour and ways of acting towards religion. The lack of a clear definition of what being atheist (or an unbeliever) means today invites us to study the issue in greater depth. This volume represents a first attempt at understanding and scrutinizing atheism. Thanks to all contributors, it provides both a global perspective and specific insights into specific cases.
Roberto Cipriani is Professor of Sociology at Roma Tre University. He has been President of the ISA Research Committee for the Sociology of Religion, and member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion.
Franco Garelli is Professor of Sociology of Culture and Sociology of Religion at the University of Turin, where he has been Director of the Department “Culture, Politics and Society”, and he has served as Dean of the Political Sciences Faculty.
Contributors are: Amarnath Amarasingam, Lori Beaman, Melanie Brewster, Richard Cimino, Roberto Cipriani, Matthew Facciani, Lori Fazzino, Manuel Franzmann, Franco Garelli, Todd Johnson, Sonja Luehrmann, Antonín Paleček, Atko Remmel, Alexandros Sakellariou, Christopher Schmitt, Landon Schnabel, Ariel Sincoff-Yedid, Jesse Smith, Evan Stewart, David Václavík, Roman Vido, Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, Gina Zurlo.
All interested in the sociology of religion, secularization process, and atheism phenomenon, as well as religious issues, life meaning, values relevance, and religions crisis.