This book explores the relational dynamic of religious and nonreligious positions as well as the tensions between competing modes of nonreligion. Across the globe, individuals and communities are seeking to distinguish themselves in different ways from religion as they take on an identity unaffiliated to any particular faith.
Conceptually, the book introduces this relational approach to nonreligion, which is inspired by Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory. It also offers further analytical distinctions that help to identify and delineate different modes of nonreligion with respect to non-religious actors’ values, objectives, and their relations with relevant religious others. The value of this conceptual frame is illustrated by three empirical studies, in Sweden, the Philippines, and the Netherlands, which sketch the changing positions of different nonreligious groups against a background of both institutionalised religious practice and shifting religious identities.
This is a timely exploration of how nonreligion and secularities are developing across the world. It will, therefore, be of great use to scholars of religious studies as well as the anthropology, history, and the sociology of religion more generally.
‘This is a timely work that considerably furthers our understanding of nonreligious identities in regions that hitherto have seen little scholarly attention. The authors provide researchers with an invaluable toolbox for and illuminating examples of thorough and multidimensional analysis of contemporary nonreligion vis-á-vis its societal others.’ – Tom Kaden, University of Bayreuth, Germany
1 Introduction: Researching the Diversity of Nonreligion
2 Concept: Non/religious Constructions and Contestations
3 Contested Humanist Identities in Sweden
4 Collective Nonreligiosities in the Philippines
5 Secularizing Politics in the Netherlands
6 Comparison: Normativities and Contested Relations