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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 aaccepted space for this minority within American society. I just couldn t get into this one

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Atheists in America

This collection featuresthan 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. Atheists in America edited by Melanie Brewster is a fine collection of personal essays from American atheists of diverse ages races genders socioeconomic backgrounds sexual orientations and religious and nonreligious upbringings The essays shed light on diverse everyday atheist experiences and human journeys toward atheism which is a refreshing and much needed approach in contemporary atheist writings Many of the stories are powerful some heart wrenching and all provocative for a nation where being a theist and at least nominally religious is an expected and assumed norm The book doesn t seek to propose arguments or wrestle with philosophical uestions for or against God per se but recounts autobiographical narratives of how people wrestle journey andor navigate coming out as atheists Each section highlights certain aspects of atheist experience and is prefaced with informative demographic and social science research shared by the editorAs with most writings by contemporary atheists the choice of essay selections does seem to promote an underlying sometimes implicit brand of what could arguably be called mainstream atheism in America that is atheism defined over against or in reaction to theism or religious faith This may have been intentional though I did not find it explicitly addressed by the editor As a result I wrestled to find myself in the collection as a gay American whose admittedly unconventional faith allows and incorporates a certain kind of atheism and certainly doubt as a necessary and essential element Some lesser known strains of Christian theology for example emphasize the absence of Jesus god on the cross My God my God why have you forsaken me and suggest that the message of the cross is scandalous precisely because love is shared deeply and fully in the presence of divine absenceIt seems to me that those who embrace both doubt and belief skepticism and faith science and religion or otherwise embrace atheism within a context of faith might be compared to bisexuals in the predominate straight vs gay discourse by the way their both and identifications unsettle the very dichotomies that give power to our either or characterizations of things And just as a collection of essays on sexual orientation would have breadth with a story from someone identifying as bisexual I think this collection could have breadth if it included a story or a section by persons who embrace atheism within a context of faith not just in reaction to religious literalism or within contexts of modern reason rational thinking or science Perhaps these folks are few and far between yet all the reason they too may be worthy of a voice in a collection that seeks to show the true breadth of atheist experiences and minority atheist narrativesI give the book 5 stars The choice of which atheist narratives are legitimate or significant enough notwithstanding the book is a needed addition to contemporary atheist writing in the ways it sheds light on some of the everday and diverse atheist experiences in America Some authors describe a former agnosticism or period of uestioning as an important stepping stone toward an atheist identity I believe the book itself could be an important stepping stone to another collection on the diverse and sometimes disparate atheisms in everyday American lives

review Atheists in America

Christian nationThese narratives illuminate the complexities and conseuences 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. Thought provoking


7 thoughts on “Atheists in America

  1. says:

    This is a collection of writings by Americans of all genders ages races and backgrounds on the reasons why they are or have become atheists 21 year old Lynette tells her personal story about a sexist father and how an incident in church in which the sex of a person appears to have significance in Christianity Speaking to her mother Lynette was astonished to find that he Christian mother accepts the Bible’s sexist doctrinesJames

  2. says:

    Atheists in America edited by Melanie Brewster is a fine collection of personal essays from American atheists of diverse age

  3. says:

    Not preachy or pedantic this collection explores the variety and subtlety of how atheists are making their way in a predominantly Chri

  4. says:

    Thought provoking

  5. says:

    I just couldn't get into this one

  6. says:

    As the stories and scholarship in this collection reiterate leaving religion is usually gradual and often involves processing the typical stages of grief At a certain point in my own process I knew I didn't belie

  7. says:

    Interesting and surprising book As Western European I knew that religion is very strong in the US society but the testimony of the people in this book have shown to me aspects that I did not imagine The deep emotional difficulty of coming out as an atheist in the US is very well transmitted in the short bios of the book r

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