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Becoming Atheist: Humanism and the Secular West


Becoming Atheist: Humanism and the Secular West

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    Available in PDF Format | Becoming Atheist: Humanism and the Secular West.pdf | English
    Callum G. Brown(Author)
The Western World is becoming atheist. In the space of three generations churchgoing and religious belief have become alien to millions. We are in the midst of one of humankind's great cultural changes. How has this happened?Becoming Atheist explores how people of the sixties' generation have come to live their lives as if there is no God.It tells the life narratives of those from Britain, Western Europe, the United States and Canada who came from Christian, Jewish and other backgrounds to be without faith. Based on interviews with 85 people born in 18 countries, Callum Brown shows how gender, ethnicity and childhood shape how individuals lose religion.This book moves from statistical and broad cultural analysis to use frank, humorous and sometimes harrowing personal testimony. Becoming Atheist exposes people's role in renegotiating their own identities, and fashioning a secular and humanist culture for the Western world.

As the number of men and women rejecting religious faith continues to grow by leaps and bounds, so too grows the need for scholarship that illuminates this historical trend, and Callum Brown's latest work is among the best out there: astute, insightful, unbiased, and informative. So thorough, so thoughtful -- this work is highly recommended. Essential reading for those interested in religion's modern decline.Phil Zuckerman, Pitzer College, USA and author of Living the Secular Life (Penguin, 2014)Any book by Callum Brown is sure to be lively, provocative and full of new ideas. He is already internationally renowned as one of the leading historians of secularisation. This oral history of modern atheism and humanism from Vancouver to Tallinn, with long stops on the way in the USA and Britain, is further enriched by vivid detail and a warm sympathy with those whose stories he tells.Hugh McLeod, University of Birmingham, UKCallum Brown provides a convincing new interpretation of secularization in the West since 1945, using fascinating oral history narratives to identify key paths to atheism and humanism. He challenges a range of academic orthodoxies with compelling and original arguments. Brown demonstrates the significance of childhood rejection of religion for many lifelong atheists and the crucial intersection of feminism and family issues with the abandonment of religion for women, who have been central to secularizing trends since the 1960s. Other original arguments featured in this groundbreaking and very readable book further transform our understanding of the growing secularization of the modern West.Lynne Marks, University of Victoria, Canada

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Book details

  • PDF | 248 pages
  • Callum G. Brown(Author)
  • Bloomsbury Academic (12 Jan. 2017)
  • English
  • 8
  • History
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Review Text

  • By Guest on 27 August 2017

    Excellent source for diving into the complicated subject matter of researching Western secularisation via oral history records. Brown's theoretical base in oral history relies heavily on the newest articulations of the brilliant Lynn Abrams who's also worth a look.

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