Events Calendar
Nov 25
15:45 - 17:00
Ancestor Worship Amongst Today's Unbelievers
Being Human Festival 2017
The 2017 Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network Public Lecture

The annual NSRN public lecture is being held in conjunction with Belief, Lost and Found: The Unbelief Café an event taking place as part of the 2017 Being Human Festival. This year's lecture is presented by Professor Abby Day, Sociology Department, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Abstract: Non-religious people often experience, and revere, the presence of their deceased relatives. Unfortunately, such experiences usually fall into an academic category called 'religious experience', demonstrating how badly misunderstood are today's unbelievers. The roots of that category error are deeply embedded in 19th century studies of religion when academics defined religion according to 'belief in spirits' and decided that such beliefs were based on ancestor worship – a practice they confidently predicted would die out as people became more 'modern'. But it hasn't died out. In this lecture, I discuss current research with UK unbelieving ancestor-worshippers and offer cross-cultural comparisons to ask – how can we learn from their experiences to inform us about unbelief, nonreligion and the richness of human experience?

Visit the event web page


The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge,
18 High Street,
United Kingdom


Open to all,

Contact: Claire Berlyn


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Last Updated: 10/01/2012