The Spirituality of Atheists, Agnostics and Deconverts

Streib H, Klein C (2011)
Presented at the Conference of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR), Bari (Italy).

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Conference Paper | Published | English
Abstract
In the psychology of religion, atheists and agnostics have received less attention than believers and converts. More recently, however, atheists receive more attention and agnostics – including suggestions to study atheists and agnostics in their own right. This new interest may be due to indications of a considerable increase in religious nonaffiliation. These groups of unaffiliates and disaffiliates eventually include portions of atheists and agnostics – even though the question, who are the “nones”? should be approached with care. While most research used to work with a static and synchronic contrast of belief vs. unbelief or religiosity vs. atheism/agnosticism, it is necessary to include deconverts, because people who leave their faith call attention to the dynamics of migrations in the religious field which eventually lead to exit the religious field altogether. Deconverts also raise the question of biographical change. For a deeper understanding of atheists and agnostics and people who deconvert eventually to atheist and agnostic beliefs, it is imperative to know motivations and psychological predictors, psychological correlates, and also the effects and outcomes. Are turns to atheism, agnosticism and apostasy associated with an increase or a decrease in psychological well-being? How do they effect health? Do they lead to preference of specific coping styles? Surprisingly, we have empirical evidence that a considerable portion of self-declared atheists, agnostics and deconverts nevertheless self-identify as “spiritual.” What is the “spirituality” of atheists, agnostics and deconverts? In this paper, we address these questions, discuss results from extant research, and suggest direction in future research.
Publishing Year
Conference
Conference of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR)
Location
Bari (Italy)
Conference Date
2011-08-22
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Streib H, Klein C. The Spirituality of Atheists, Agnostics and Deconverts. Presented at the Conference of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR), Bari (Italy).
Streib, H., & Klein, C. (2011). The Spirituality of Atheists, Agnostics and Deconverts. Presented at the Conference of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR), Bari (Italy).
Streib, H., and Klein, C. (2011).“The Spirituality of Atheists, Agnostics and Deconverts”. Presented at the Conference of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR), Bari (Italy).
Streib, H., & Klein, C., 2011. The Spirituality of Atheists, Agnostics and Deconverts. Presented at the Conference of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR), Bari (Italy).
H. Streib and C. Klein, “The Spirituality of Atheists, Agnostics and Deconverts”, Presented at the Conference of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR), Bari (Italy), 2011.
Streib, H., Klein, C.: The Spirituality of Atheists, Agnostics and Deconverts. Presented at the Conference of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR), Bari (Italy) (2011).
Streib, Heinz, and Klein, Constantin. “The Spirituality of Atheists, Agnostics and Deconverts”. Presented at the Conference of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR), Bari (Italy), 2011.
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