In the introduction to this special issue, we set the agenda for researching the aspirations and practices of godless people who seek to thin out religion in their daily lives. We reflect on why processes of disengagement from religion have not been adequately researched in anthropology. Locating this issue's articles in the anthropological literature on doubt and atheism, we argue for the importance of a comparative investigation to analyze people's reluctance to pursue religion.
Godless People, Doubt, and Atheism
Ruy Llera Blanes and Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic
Godless People and Dead Bodies
Materiality and the Morality of Atheist Materialism
Jacob Copeman and Johannes Quack
Atheists are not the only people who donate their bodies, yet the practice is strikingly prevalent in a variety of atheist circles. We concentrate here on the Indian case, exploring body donation as a key instance of the material culture of atheism. Recent efforts to reinvigorate study of the material culture of religion are to be welcomed, but they should be extended to non-religion in order to address the irony that sees scholars representing materialism as an abstract doctrine and, hence, as immaterial. Body donation holds value for Indian atheists as a bridge between 'positive' and 'negative' modes of atheist thought and action. It also provides a ready-made solution for atheist activists keen to circumvent the cadaver-centered death rituals they find so redundant.
For a New Materialist Analytics of Time
.34.2.211 Copeman , J. & J. Quack . 2015 . Godless People and Dead Bodies: Materiality and the Making of Atheist Materialism . Social Analysis 59 ( 2 ): 40 – 61 . 10.3167/sa.2015.590203 Gates , H.L. 1988 . The Signifying Monkey: a Theory of African
Jeanne Favret-Saada’s Minimal Ontology
Belief and Disbelief of Mystical Forces, Perilous Conditions, and the Opacity of Being
Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic . 2015 . “ Introduction: Godless People, Doubt, and Atheism .” Social Analysis 59 ( 2 ): 1 – 19 . 10.3167/sa.2015.590201 da Col , Giovanni . 2012 . “ Introduction: Natural Philosophies of Fortune—Luck, Vitality and