About the project
The Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society at St Mary’s University, Twickenham is involved in a £2.7m social-scientific research study into the causation of atheism, agnosticism and other forms of non-belief.
The funding has been provided by the John Templeton Foundation and the study is being led by Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with Brunel University, Coventry University, Kent University and Notre Dame University Australia.
The study, Explaining Atheism is a continuation of and will expand on a previous study Understanding Unbelief (2016-2020). The research is comprised of three elements: to generate research into the causes of atheism in different demographics, cultures and historical periods, focusing specifically on the individual and societal reasons for non-belief.
The research will also feature the work of Benedict XVI Centre PhD student Tim Kinnear exploring the impact of the internet on secularization.
The study of atheism and related areas has rapidly grown over the past two decades, after a long period of neglect. So this is one more exciting step forward for the subfield.
Prof Stephen Bullivant
Academics from the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society at St Mary’s University, Twickenham have secured £2.7m funding in partnership with five other universities to conduct a research programme on the social-scientific study of atheism.