Atheists in America

Atheists in America

By: Melanie E. Brewster (editor)Hardback

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This collection features more than two dozen narratives by atheists from different backgrounds across the United States. Ranging in age, race, sexual orientation, and religious upbringing, these individuals address deconversion, community building, parenting, and romantic relationships, providing a nuanced look at living without a god in a predominantly Christian nation. These narratives illuminate the complexities and consequences for nonbelievers in the United States. Stepping away from religious belief can have serious social and existential ramifications, forcing atheists to discover new ways to live meaningfully without a religious community. Yet shedding the constraints of a formal belief system can also be a freeing experience. Ultimately, this volume shows that claiming an atheist identity is anything but an act isolated from the other dimensions of the self. Upending common social, political, and psychological assumptions about atheists, this collection helps carve out a more accepted space for this minority within American society.

About Author

Melanie Elyse Brewster is a professor of psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on marginalized groups and examines how experiences of discrimination and stigma may shape the mental health of minority group members, such as LGBTQ individuals, atheists, and people of color. She regularly tweets about identity politics at @melysebrewster.


Acknowledgments Introduction. The Other Closet: An Introduction to Atheism and Coming Out Processes Part 1. Leaving Faith: Arriving at Atheist Identity from Religious Backgrounds 1. How I Got to None of the Above, by Alvin Burstein 2. Religion and the F-Word (Feminism), by Lynnette 3. Clap Our Hands Like Trees, by Chris Matallana 4. Ex-Mormon, by Cora Judd Part 2. Cultural Contexts in Coming Out as Atheist 5. An Unexamined Life, by Naima Cabelle 6. User Error: Coming Out as Atheist in Utah, by James Mouritsen 7. The Names We Call Home, by Shawn Mirza 8. A Life of Class Consciousness, by David Hoelscher Part 3. Two Closets? Identifying as Both LGBTQ and Atheist 9. A Tale of Two Closets, by Stephen S. Mills 10. The Permanent Prodigal Daughter, by Sherilyn Connelly 11. Far from Home, by David Philip Norris Part 4. Ain't No Mountain High Enough: Navigating Romantic Relationships as an Atheist 12. An Atheist's Simple Revelation About Love: It's Complicated, by Ethan Sahker 13. Swept Under the Rug, by Kristen Rurouni 14. On Love and Credulity, by Matt Hart Part 5. Family Life and Atheist Parenting 15. Dinner with Grandma, by Ronnelle Adams 16. Parenting Authentically in an Interfaith Marriage, by Kevin J. Zimmerman 17. Having a Baby Made Me an Atheist, by Amy Watkins 18. Born Secular, by Adrienne Filardo Fagan Part 6. The Search for Connection: Coming Out to Friends and Questing for Community 19. Slow Growth, by Justus Humphrey 20. An Atheist in the Bible Belt, by Brittany Friedel 21. Coming Out and Finding Home, by Pam Zerba Part 7. Atheism at Work: Tales of Coming Out to Coworkers and Colleagues 22. Is This the Way to Amarillo?, by Samuel W. Needleman 23. Cracking Open the Closet Door, by Camilo Ortiz 24. My Favorite Atheist, by John Douma Part 8. Atheism and Aging: The Challenges of Entering Older Adulthood as a Nonbeliever 25. The Road Less Traveled, by Ursula Raabe 26. A Contrarian Life Story, by Elizabeth Malm Clemens 27. Dark Matter and Missing Socks, by Margaret M. Bennett Concluding Thoughts: The Open Door Notes Bibliography

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780231163583
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 272
  • ID: 9780231163583
  • ISBN10: 0231163584

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