Atheist, on Religious Campus

The intersection between atheism and religious belief is a very interesting place to be, for the psychologist of religion. Reading Atheist, on a Religious Campus can give you some good research ideas, especially from a social-psychological or a mental health perspective. If you are on a religious campus, I'd be very interested to hear how you believe an atheist would be treated there. For instance, would your campus allow the establishment of a student group so that atheists could meet together, as the article describes happening at Augsburg?


Alice Herron said...

I studied for the MA in Psychology of Religion at Heythrop College London. In our class of 20 or so students, about half, I would guess, were members of the clergy, many of them particularly interested in the pastoral side of the subject. The class included mabe 2 or 3 who identified as athiest or agnostic and were interested in why and how people are religious. The others were there for a variety of reasons.
Heythrop College was founded by Jesuits many centuries ago and still has a strong religious tradition, with most of its courses and degrees dealing with different aspects of religion and attended by clergy and other religious people, including Christians, Jews and Muslims. Interestingly though, it also runs the University of London Philosophy degree, and many of the students and staff on that course are atheists. In some research that I did a few years ago, about 12% of the respondents were atheist.
As far as I am aware there has never been any conflict between those of different beliefs. Everyone appears respectful and tolerant of each other.

Michael Nielsen said...

Thanks for the feedback, Alice. I am happy to hear that your experience at Heythrop College was good.