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Distributed for UCL Press

Global Sceptical Publics

From Nonreligious Print Media to ‘Digital Atheism’

Distributed for UCL Press

Global Sceptical Publics

From Nonreligious Print Media to ‘Digital Atheism’

A collection of essays examining secular discourse in contemporary media spheres.

Diverse media ranging from print publications and TV series to social media platforms are crucial for producing and participating in the secular public sphere, setting the stage for debates, controversies, and activism related both specifically and non-specifically to atheistic discourse. Global Sceptical Publics brings together contributions that analyze the diverse ways in which a variety of religious skeptics, doubters, and atheists engage with different forms of media as the framework for understanding contemporary communication and the formation of nonreligious publics. With authors from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, the book contributes new insights to the growing field of nonreligion studies, in particular, by demonstrating how skeptical groups can unsettle preconceived expectations of the public sphere.

357 pages | 11 color plates | 6.14 x 9.21 | © 2022

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Table of Contents

List of figures
Notes on contributors

Joseph Blankholm

Introduction: Nonreligion, atheism and sceptical publicity
Jacob Copeman and Mascha Schulz

Part I Aesthetics and visual culture of nonreligion
1. Rationalist camera: Nonreligious techniques of vision in India
Jacob Copeman and John Hagström

2. Performing the secular: Street theatre and songs as ‘secular media’ in Bangladesh and West Bengal
James Bradbury and Mascha Schulz

3. ‘There is no god, Summer’. A critical evaluation of Rick and Morty’s approach to atheism and nihilism
Frank Bosman

4. Aesthetics of the secular
Stefan Binder

5. Gender, affect and atheism on Arabic media
Natalie Khazaal

Part II Mediated scepticism: Historical and contemporary trajectories
6. ‘Apostates’: A new secularising public in the United Kingdom
John Hagström

7. Satan, sex and an Islamist zombie apocalypse: Nonreligion and blasphemy in Turkish cartoons and comic books
Pierre Hecker

8. From campaign and dispute to ‘public service broad/narrow casting’: Secularist and atheist media strategies in Britain and America – A contextual history
David Nash

Part III Atheism and scepticism in a digital age
9. Intimate deconversions: Digital atheist counterpublics on Reddit
Eric Chalfant

10. Pumpkins at the centre of Mars and circlejerks: Do atheists find community online?
Evelina Lundmark

11. From ‘talking among’ to ‘talking back’? Online voices of young Moroccan nonbelievers
Lena Richter

12. Ungodly visuals: Confrontations, religion and affect in the everyday lives of atheists in India
Neelabh Gupta

Johannes Quack


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