by Patricia O’Connell Killen, Professor of religion and director of the Center for Religion, Cultures and Society in the Western United States at Pacifc Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington
I approach the Pasquale and Stahl chapters as an historian of religion, primarily of Christianity in North America, who has been working for some time on understanding the religious dynamics of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. Most recently, as part of the Religion by Region project of the Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, I co-edited Religion and Public Life in the Pacific Northwest: The None Zone with Mark Silk. The volume provides a frst take on two questions:1) What is the religious configuration on the ground in the Pacific Northwest? 2) What difference does it makes for public life in the region?
by Frank L. Pasquale, Research associate of ISSSC engaged in the study of the nonreligious population of the U.S
In survey research, “seculars” has been a variable category encompassing distinguishable types of individuals. There is an everincreasing amount of data emerging from survey work on “seculars” and Nones (those who profess no explicit religious identity or affliation). There has been less direct or detailed attention to the subset of Nones that might be characterized as “quintessential seculars”—the substantially or affrmatively nontranscendental/ notreligious, or “Nots.”
by Bruce A. Phillips, Sociologist at the University of Southern California and professor of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles.
It has been correctly asserted that “Secularity and secular people in America have gone largely unresearched until now.” Indeed, Kosmin, Mayer, and Keysar have put secularism back on the scholarly agenda. The qualifer “largely” is important, however. Secularism did not entirely disappear from the sociology of religion, and putting these most recent fndings in the context of previous research raises a number of analytic challenges. In this chapter I look at these fndings in the context of previous research and suggest that the re-emergence of secularism in America needs to be understood in specifc analytic contexts.
Barry A. Kosmin, Founding director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture and research professor of public policy and law at Trinity College
Secularism and its variants are terms much bandied about today, paradoxically, as a consequence of religion seeming to have become more pervasive and influential in public life and society worldwide. This situation poses a number of questions.