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Atheist AwakeningSecular Activism and Community in America$
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Richard Cimino and Christopher Smith

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199986323

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199986323.001.0001

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The New Atheism and the Revival of Secularism

The New Atheism and the Revival of Secularism

(p.53) Chapter 2 The New Atheism and the Revival of Secularism
Atheist Awakening

Richard Cimino

Christopher Smith

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at how the new atheist phenomenon has been interpreted and appropriated by those involved in atheist and secular humanist organizations. The chapter shows that a connection between the new atheism as a broad social phenomenon and the publicly emerging needs and desires of secularists; they are both cause and effect of the transformation of experience with the expansion of electronic communication technologies. While even some secularists clam the new atheists are doing more harm than good, the chapter argues that such critiques ultimately miss the function of the books: taken collectively they provide a highly diverse population of secularists with a common and general set of issues and ideas in which to imagine a sense of community.

Keywords:   new atheism, atheism, secular humanism, secularism, media

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