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Religious Studies: Irreligion

Religion 101


“There is no god and there is no soul. Hence, there is no need for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is dead and buried. There is no room for fixed and natural law or permanent moral absolutes.” (John Dewey)



"The term agnosticism was coined in 1869 by the British biologist Thomas Henry Huxley and elaborated in his philosophical explorations of what is knowable and what is not. It derives from the classical Greek a- (without or not) and gnosis (knowledge, or insight, concerning the transcendent or immaterial). Huxley was dissatisfied with atheism as a concept, associating it with dogmatism and definitiveness and observing an increasing association between atheism and far-left politics—an association that increased its undesirability among some of his peers."

Cotter, C. R., & Lee, C. R. (2020). Agnosticism. In A. Possamai, & A. J. Blasi (Eds.), The SAGE encyclopedia of the sociology of religion. Sage UK. 

  • Thomas Huxley
  • Spencer
  • Tyndall
  • Huxley
  • Stephen
  • Clifford



In the strictest sense, an atheist is someone who does not believe in God. However, the term has also come to encompass what some would call a religion in-and-of itself: a practice defined by the absence of belief in higher powers, deities, and supernatural ways.

Sinclair, R. (2014). Atheism. In S. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of diversity and social justice. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Credo Reference.

  • John Dewey
  • Christopher Hitchens
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Arthur Miller
  • Luis Bunuel
  • Julia Sweeney
  • Adam Carolla
  • Richard Dawkins
  • Salman Rushdie

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