© 2017 by Amsterdam Religion Cognition and Behavior Lab

Uncovering the Hidden Nature of Unbelief

Empty churches and an increasing number of people with no religious affiliation have made religious unbelief a major and lively topic in the study of religion. Unbelief is a complicated subject, illustrated in the diverse and fuzzy labeling of unbelievers (e.g. atheists, agnostics, irreligious, secular, nonreligious and nonbelievers), often with overlapping connotations. Moreover, the absence of religious beliefs most probably takes distinct forms in different cultures and individuals, but empirical studies are still few and the forms of unbelief are poorly understood. Given that unaffiliated or ‘nones’ is the second largest group among Western Europeans, right after Christians (Pew Research Center, 2018), understanding the varieties of religious unbelief is highly important. 

The aims of the 'Hidden Nature of Unbelief Project' is twofold:

(1) Identify different groups of unbelievers

(2) Develop implicit measures to study the nature of unbelief

This project is part of the larger Templeton funded project on 'Understanding Unbelief'

Involved Researchers: 

Marjaana Lindeman (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Uffe Schjoedt (University of Arhus, Denmark)

Michiel van Elk (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)