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Christopher F. Silver - Researching Atheism in America: Benefits and Disadvantages

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Published on Jan 23, 2014

The social sciences of religion have recently gained interest in topics of atheism related to demographics and psychological correlates. What does it mean to study the absence of faith? Is the absence of faith an ontological position much like a personal affirmation of faith? How do the sociological and psychological perspectives intersect within the study of atheism? This presentation would explore the difficulties that researchers face in researching atheism and other types of nonbelief.

Christopher F. Silver is a native of Tennessee. He has received his masters of research psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a masters in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo Ontario Canada, and a doctorate of Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dr Silver is currently enrolled as a doctoral student at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in research psychology seeking a second doctoral degree. Dr Silver has co-authored a book called Deconversion, Qualitative and Quantitative Results from Cross-Cultural Research in Germany and the United States of America published by Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht. In this work Silver and co-authors explored the process of religious exit and conversion to see if common attributes exist for those who disaffiliate either by choice or through forced exit. His most recent work has explored the different types of people who lack a belief in God or the divine.

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