chapter  9
15 Pages

The significance of secular sacred space in the formation of British atheist identities

WithJanet Eccles, Rebecca Catto

This chapter focuses on British adults who identify explicitly as atheist, a conscious position defined by a denial of belief in god. The seminal claim by the New Atheists and their followers is that belief in G/god is a truth claim about the nature of reality. Hence the nature of religion should be amenable to some kind of quasi-scientific investigation: the 'God Hypothesis' should be testable. Drawing on the work of Doreen Massey, Kim Knott sees space as a moment in the intersection of configured social relations. Inductive thematic analysis was employed for young atheist data, identifying themes through constant revisiting of the material. The process was supplemented by discussions with other researchers and feedback from the young participants through an online forum. Learning of the British Humanist Association through online searches he became a member, assuming thereafter an atheist identity.