Research groups and blog networks

This page contains an overview of research groups and projects around the world related to the study of nonreligion and secularism. If you notice a group or project missing here, please contact our online team.

Center for Atheist Research
The Center serves as a nonpartisan Internet hub for social science research on atheism and secularity, and invites individuals from across the religious/spiritual/secular spectrum to participate in their current online research studies.

Critical Religion Category Network (CRCN)
The term ‘critical religion’ is shorthand for the theoretical and methodological practice of taking ‘religion’ not as an isolated stand-alone category but as a term in a configuration of related categories. The purpose of this network and the workshops and conferences which it organises and promotes is to explore modern constructions of ‘religion’, ‘politics’, ‘the state’, economics’ in different sites of contestation to reveal their ideological function in the legitimation of the rationality of global capitalism.

Diversity of Non-Religion Research Group
Run by NSRN Director Dr Johannes Quack, the Emmy Noether “Diversity of Non-Religiosity” Research Group is located at Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, based at the Institut für Ethnologie (Social Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy und History). The Research Group is organized around the assumption that a comprehensive understanding of the role of religion(s) within contemporary societies has to take the “diversity of non-religiosity” into consideration.

European Observatory of Religions and Secularism (Observatoire Européen des religions et de la laïcité)
Bruxelles-based research group led by Régis Dericquebourg. Its mission is “to bring together scientific research in sociology and anthropology of religions at the European level.” Although the focus is on new religious movements, unstructured forms of religiosity, esotericism and mysticism, it also monitors the various facets of management of religions in European countries. The activities incude facilitation of networking, organization of conferences and publication of relevant studies.

The Immanent Frame
A collective blog established in conjunction with projects on religion and the public sphere at the Social Science Research Council.

Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC)
The Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) was established in 2005 to advance understanding of the role of secular values and the process of secularization in contemporary society and culture. Nonpartisan and multidisciplinary, the Institute conducts academic research, sponsors curriculum development, and presents public events.

Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM)
The Austrian Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen is an independent institute for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences. It is constructed as an open community of scholars that consists of Permanent Fellows, Visiting Fellows and Junior Visiting Fellows. It hosts about fifty fellows and guests every year, including academics as well as journalists and translators, most of whom come from Europe and North America. They work on projects of their own choice within the Institute’s research focuses. The second focus is “Religion and Secularism“, structured around five main topics: first, an examination of contemporary forms of belief and, second, of forms of disbelief; third, a study of different secular regimes; fourth, religion’s potential to mobilize people to violence, and, finally, the role of religion  in creating social cohesion across gaps of income, ethnicity and nationality. They also offer fellowships.

Multiple Secularities
Based at the University of Leipzig, this project aims to develop a conceptual framework that allows for a better understanding of contemporary and historical contestations over relationships between religion and secularity.

The Religion and Secularism Network
This has been set up by a Cambridge-based group with wide international experience, including social scientists, a historian and a political philosopher. The aim of the network is to contribute conceptual clarity and high quality information to debates about the state-religion relationship, by bringing to light the multiplicity of arrangements which govern it in different countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

UTC Atheism research
The website presents a study on the complexities of nonbelief identity in the United States performed by a research group at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) (Psychology, Learning and Leadership).

Understanding Unbelief
Understanding Unbelief is a major research programme, based at the University of Kent, aiming to advance the scientific understanding of atheism and other forms of so-called ‘unbelief’ around the world. Its central research questions concern the nature and diversity of ‘unbelief’.

Page updated 18 August, 2020.