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Scientific Study of Nonreligious Belief

About the Project

Thanks to the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation, we are collaborating with colleagues at University College London, Queen's University Belfast, and Coventry University on 'The Scientific Study of Nonreligious Belief'. The project runs from October 2015 until December 2016.

This interdisciplinary initiative seeks - among other things - to provide the growing field of 'nonreligion and secularity studies' with a number of foundational resources, as a service and encouragement to other scholars. Among these will be the publication of The Oxford Dictionary of Atheism (coauthored by Lois Lee and Stephen Bullivant).

A dedicated project website, showcasing an array of original work (literature reviews, methodology blog series, etc), will be launched later in 2016. A number of high-profile events will be announced in due course.

'The Scientific Study of Nonreligious Belief' project is led by Dr Lois Lee (PI) at UCL, Dr Jonathan Lanman (co-PI) at Queen's, Dr Stephen Bullivant (co-PI) at St Mary's, and Dr Miguel Farias at Coventry.

The project builds on a significant body of work undertaken at St Mary's over the past several years. In 2010, St Mary's was the first university in Britain to introduce an undergraduate Religious Studies module on 'Atheism and Nonreligion.' The University hosted the annual lecture of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network in 2011.

Moreover, The Oxford Handbook of Atheism, co-edited by Dr Bullivant, received its European launch at St Mary's in 2014.