In this paper I review several recent attempts to recast atheism in religious form in Canada, the US and the UK. First, several atheists have argued for the redefinition of atheism as a creed deserving of religious protections from the state. Second, various atheist churches have gained publicity in recent years, in part due to their appropriation of the Protestant church format and the rhetoric of religious association. Both of these expressions of atheism stand in marked contradiction to older forms of atheism which emerged in response to (and rejection of) Christianity in the West, and they also stand in contrast to popular forms of atheism today, of the kind espoused by Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. As a result, the cases reviewed here represent the ways in which contemporary atheist movements constitute several different counterpublics, and they mark a significant change in the states acknowledgement of atheism as a positive form of belief.

Atheism, Atheist churches, Public sphere
Culture and Religion
Communication & Media Studies

Dick, H. (2015). Atheism in religious clothing? Accounting for atheist interventions in the public sphere. Culture and Religion (Vol. 16, pp. 372–391). doi:10.1080/14755610.2015.1090466