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  • O'Hair, Madalyn Murray: Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1919-1995) was instrumental in banning Bible readings in public schools and founded one of the largest organizations of atheists in America.
  • Secular Movement: Gaining prominence in the mid-20th century, the modern secular movement pushed for a society without religion.
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ARDA Dictionary
  • Secular Humanism:The lack of connection, or desire to connect to the transcendent, the sacred, God or the supernatural (Koenig et al. 2012: 47). It is a philosophy that involves beliefs, behavior and relationships valued by their own intrinsic merit. In this way, humans are believed to be capable of good without the need to believe in God or the divine. Secular humanists often are categorized, along with atheists and agnostics, as “non-religious” given they do not see the need for religion in instilling morality in society.
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Citations are taken from the Sociology of Religion Searchable Bibliographic Database, created and updated by Anthony J. Blasi (Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Notre Dame; University of Texas at San Antonio). The ARDA is not responsible for content or typographical errors.
  • Atheists on the Santiago Way: Examining motivations to go on pilgrimage.
    Farias, Miguel, Thomas J. Coleman III, James E. Bartlett, Lluis Oviedo, Pedro Soares, Tiago Santos, and Maria del Carmen Bas (2019)
    Sociology of Religion 80:1: 28-44.

    Analyzes questionnaire data from Christian & atheist pilgrims on the Camino Santiago de Compostela. Motives of the 2 groups differ only on community (being with my community, doing something on behalf of another, helping sick people) & religious motives, which were both higher for the Christians.

    Associated Search Terms: Atheist; Pilgrimage
  • Secularity and irreligion in cross-national context: A nonlinear approach.
    Kasselstrand, Isabella (2019)
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 58:3: 626-642.

    Analyzes survey data from multiple sources on nations' % non-belief in God, % lacking any trust in religious organizations, & % self-defined atheists.

    Associated Search Terms: Atheist
  • Unorganized atheism and the secular movement: Reddit as a site for studying "lived atheism."
    Lundmark, Evelina, and Stephen LeDrew (2019)
    Social Compass 66:1: 112-129.

    Discourse on an atheist online forum resembles those in formal atheist organizations.

    Associated Search Terms: Discourse; Atheist; Internet
  • Mapping religion's other: A review of the study of nonreligion and secularity.
    Smith, Jesse M., and Ryan T. Cragun (2019)
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 58:2: 319-335.

    Review of the literature, focusing on the mid-2000s & after.

    Associated Search Terms: Atheist
  • Digital irreligion: Christian deconversion in an online community.
    Starr, Chelsea, Kristin Waldo, and Matthew Kauffman (2019)
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 58:2: 494-512.

    Based on 2014-17 observation of an internet forum of former Christians. The online forum provided interaction space for identity construction & alternative role exploration.

    Associated Search Terms: Atheist; Internet
  • What's behind the "nones-sense"? Change over time in factors predicting likelihood of religious nonaffiliation in the United States.
    Strawn, Kelley D. (2019)
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 58:3: 707-724.

    Analyzes General Social Survey (USA) data; age & political orientation continue to predict not identifying with a religion, but other variables are declining in strength as predictors.

    Associated Search Terms: Atheist, U.S.A.
  • Religious practice versus subjective religiosity: Catholics and those with "no religion" in the French 2017 presidential election.
    Dargent, Claude (2019)
    Social Compass 66:2: 164-181.

    Analyzes 2017 French survey data. Both attendance & religiosity positively correlated with voting for the right wing political parties, but with slight differences.

    Associated Search Terms: Politics, France; Atheist, France; Practice; France; Catholic, France; Religiosity
  • Mush?ky? Identification and the Fragile Existence of Catholic Children in Japan
    LeMay, Alec R. (2019)
    Religions 10, 414; doi: 10.3390/rel10070414

    The public education system in Japan is not religiously neutral but exerts social pressure for children to be non-religious. The example of Catholic children in a Tokyo church illustrates this.

    Associated Search Terms: Japan, Tokyo; Socialization; Students, primary; Atheist, Japan; Catholic, Japan; Education
  • Bringing up nones: Intergenerational influences and cohort trends.
    Bengtson, Vern L., R. David Hayward, Phil Zuckerman, and Merril Silverstein (2018)
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 57:2: 258-275.

    Analyzes 1970-2005 panel data from 3 generations in a California-based health plan. Socialization as humanists, atheists, & unintended socialization or religious rebels by religious parents explain part of the increase in religious "nones" between 1971 & 2005.

    Associated Search Terms: Socialization; Panel study; Atheist, U.S.A.; Family
  • Cross-national variation in the social origins and religious consequences of religious non-affiliation.
    Schwadel, Philip (2018)
    Social Science Research 70: 254-270.

    Associated Search Terms: Atheist
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Data Archive
  • Google Ngrams Data, 1800-2000:
    Despite the importance of trend data for understanding key substantive and theoretical questions on American culture and religion, almost no such data exist. By searching the massive Google Books collection, however, the Google Ngram Viewer provides quantitative data on cultural and religious trends over time. The Ngram Viewer searches the entire collection of Google Books and reports on the number of times an Ngram is used annually in the books. Ngrams are most commonly words, but can be any given sequence of text. In an effort to democratize access to these trend data, the ARDA has created a dataset with more than 400 Ngram variables generated by the Ngram Viewer and more than 20 historical trend variables taken from the Historical Statistics of the United States and other sources. When available, we also included measures on education and clergy training.

    The Ngram variables included in this file were generated by using both specific terms and composite data, where scales are created out of similar words (e.g., Atheist scale = atheist + Atheist + atheism + Atheism). These Ngram data were drawn from Google's American English corpus, which contains more than 3 million books. The Ngram variables were calculated as rates and can be interpreted as how often "xyz" is used, as a proportion of the total words in Google's American English Corpus. We would caution, however, that the Ngram data included in this file are based on very simple searches. The Ngram Viewer also allows users to customize measures by using a wildcard search, inflection search, case insensitive search, part-of-speech tags and ngram compositions. For many research projects, users will want to refine the searches to better provide the measure desired. See the Finke and McClure working paper for more details.
    Funded By: The John Templeton Foundation
    Collected: 2015, Uploaded 6/29/2015
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Questions/Variables on Surveys
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