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The New Atheism And The Empowerment Of American Freethinkers

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Chapter Summary

This chapter address how the new atheism has created new space for freethinkers, though such an opening carries its own tensions and ambiguities about the future of secularism in the United States. The phenomenon of the new atheism is hailed as a harbinger of advancing secularism. In highlighting the role of media, it focuses on both the content and the medium. The majority of articles in both Free Inquiry and the American Atheist viewed the new atheism as a positive phenomenon demonstrating the relevance and persuasiveness of the free thought message to American society. The way in which the new atheism is seen as affirming a secularist identity is clearly on display in the responses from atheists and secular humanists to our questionnaire on the phenomenon.

Keywords: American freethinkers; new atheism

10.1163/ej.9789004185579.i-253.55
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