Religious Studies

Major new research project on understanding unbelief

26 January 2017

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Dr Lois Lee has recently joined the Department of Religious Studies in the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) from UCL, where she will be leading a new and unprecedented £2 million project called Understanding Unbelief. The project, which is generously funded by Philadelphia-based John Templeton Foundation, aims to advance the scientific understanding of atheism, agnosticism and other forms of so-called religious 'unbelief' as a global phenomenon.

The project will be undertaken in collaboration with research teams from around the world. It is also the first programme of this scale to work across human science disciplines (especially anthropology, cognitive science, psychology, and sociology).

It also examines the precise nature of unbelief in religious phenomena such as God/s, the afterlife, the ultimate purpose of life, but it also asks what it is that unbelievers do believe: what meaning systems, rituals and cultures do people turn to when they don't have religious ones?

Understanding Unbelief is led by Dr Lee, with co-leaders: Professor Stephen Bullivant (St Mary's University, Twickenham), Dr Miguel Farias (Coventry University) and Dr Jonathan Lanman (Queen's University Belfast).

For provisional details about the project, please see:

Religious Studies, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 827159 or email Religious Studies

Last Updated: 16/07/2014