by Ariela Keysar, Associate director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture and associate research professor of public policy and law at Trinity College.
Atheists and Agnostics are fringe populations in U.S. society. Considered by many to be deviant, Atheists are a distrusted group. According to a Gallup Poll from September 2006, a vast majority of the public (84 percent) thinks that Americans are not ready to elect an Atheist as president. Although Atheists and Agnostics are tiny minority groups, the attention they attract, particularly from the religious right, warrants a better understanding of exactly who they are in terms of social characteristics such as gender, age, educational level, ethnicity and political preferences.
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.”