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The NonreligiousUnderstanding Secular People and Societies$
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Phil Zuckerman, Luke W. Galen, and Frank L. Pasquale

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199924950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199924950.001.0001

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How and Why People Become Secular

How and Why People Become Secular

(p.89) 5 How and Why People Become Secular
The Nonreligious

Phil Zuckerman

Luke W. Galen

Frank L. Pasquale

Oxford University Press

There are two main ways in which people become secular: either they were raised in nonreligious homes and thus their secularity is a matter of socialization, or they chose to reject religion at some point in life. This chapter identifies various sources, pathways, and dynamics involved in the rejection of religion. Analyzing previous research on apostasy, as well as embellishing this research with our own data, various reasons behind secularity are discussed as we consider the underlying, micro-level, “on the ground” social dynamics and personal processes involved in contemporary men and women choosing to embrace, or simply manifest, a secular orientation and identity.

Keywords:   apostasy, religious rejection, secular socialization, atheism, atheist identity, apostasy and gender

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