- List of Contributors
- Introduction: The Study of Atheism
- Defining ‘Atheism’
- The Case Against Atheism
- Critiques of Theistic Arguments
- Arguments for Atheism
- The Problem of Evil
- Atheism and Morality
- Atheism and the Meaningfulness of Life
- Aquinas and Atheism
- From the Pre-Socratics to the Hellenistic Age
- The First Millennium
- The Medieval Period
- Renaissance and Reformation
- The Age of Enlightenment
- The (Long) Nineteenth Century
- The Twentieth Century
- New Atheism
- Analytic Philosophy
- Jewish Atheism
- Naturalism and the Scientific Method
- Atheism and the Rise of Science
- Atheism and Darwinism
- Atheism and the Physical Sciences
- Atheism and the Secularization Thesis
- The Psychology of Atheism
- Atheism and Cognitive Science
- Atheism and Societal Health
- Atheism, Gender, and Sexuality
- Atheism, Health, and Well-Being
- Conversion and Deconversion
- A World of Atheism: Global Demographics
- Western Europe
- North America
- Central and Eastern Europe
- The Islamic World
- The Visual Arts
Abstract and Keywords
This essay offers a fresh exploration of atheism in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), while also providing an overview of existing research into atheism and non-religion in the region. In light of the legacy of state-imposed atheism, and the subsequent (apparent) ‘religious awakening’ in some countries, the authors demonstrate the significance of national religious traditions and confessional structures for understanding diversity of atheism’s nature and extent within the area. Analysis of European Values Survey data show that confessional structures of societies play more important role in spread of atheism than religious tradition (Catholicism or Orthodoxy) and that religious mono-confessionality supports vitality of religion, while religious pluralism makes more space for further differentiations of world-views, including atheism. The analysis also confirm that in CEE atheists, both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’, are not coherent as a group, and that some of them profess belief in supernatural powers and/or declare a religious affiliation.
Irena Borowik, Professor at Jagiellonian University, Poland, is a sociologist of religion in the Institute of Sociology and has been president of Nomos Publishing House since 1991. She is interested in theoretical and methodological problems of the sociology of religion, religious change in post-communist countries, and in the religiosity of European societies.
Branko Ančić is a sociologist working at the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb, Croatia. He is currently completing a PhD thesis on the relationship between religion and health, specifically within the context of religious community as a social resource significant for an individual health.
Radosław Tyrała is an assistant lecturer in at AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków (Poland). He is currently completing his PhD at Jagiellonian University, exploring the minority status of Polish nonbelievers. He is the author of (in Polish) A Taxon Too Many: Race as a Debatable Category (Oficyna Naukowa, 2005), and Opposite Poles of Evolutionism: Arms Race between Science and Religion (NOMOS, 2007).
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