Professor Phil Zuckerman

Phil Zuckerman

Professor of Sociology & Secular Studies

Associate Dean of Faculty

With Pitzer Since: 1998
Field Group: Sociology
Campus Address: Scott Hall 211
Phone: 909.607.4495
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: See Faculty Directory

Educational Background

BA, MA, PhD, University of Oregon

Research Interests

Secularity, Atheism, Apostasy, and Scandinavian Culture

Recent Courses

Secularism: Local/Global (SOC80)

Sociology and Its View of the World (SOC01)

Sociology Through Film (SOC81)

Classical Sociological Theory (SOC110)

Sociology of Religion (SOC114)

Scandinavian Culture and Society (SOC79)

Secularism, Skepticism, and Irreligion (SOC165)

Selected Articles, Book Chapters and Books


What It Means to be Moral, Counterpoint Press, 2019. (

The Oxford Handbook of Secularism (with John Shook), Oxford University Press, 2017, was published

The Nonreligious: Understanding Secular People and Societies. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Living the Secular Life. New York: Penguin Press, 2014.

Invitation to the Sociology of Religion (Chinese translation). Beijing, China: Peking University Press, 2013.

Society without God (Italian translation). Catania, Italy: Malcor  D’Edizione, 2013.

Society without God (Korean translation). Seoul, Korea:  Maumsanchaek, 2013.

Studying Religion and Society: Sociological Self-Portraits. London, UK: Routledge, 2013. Co-edited with Titus Hjlem.

Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Atheism and Secularity. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2010.

Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment. New York: New York University Press, 2008.

Invitation to the Sociology of Religion. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Articles and Book Chapters

“Bringing up Nones:  Intergenerational Influences and Cohort Trends,” with Vern Bengtson and David Hayward. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2018: 1-18.

“Are Human Beings Naturally Religious? A Response to Christian Smith,” in Homo Religious? Edited by Timothy Samuel Shah and Jack Friedman, Cambridge University Press, 2018.

“The Trump Administration’s Alternative Christianity,” Los Angeles Times August 11, 2017

“Secularism and Social Progress,” Free Inquiry, April/May 2016 was voted as Winner of the Selma V. Forkosch Best Article of 2016 Award

“Atheism, Secularity and Well-Being,” Sociology Compass, vol.3, no.6 (December 2009).

“Why Are Danes and Swedes So Irreligious?” Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, vol. 22, no.1 (2009).

“Aweism,” Free Inquiry, vol.29, no.3 (2009).

Recent Conference Presentations, Invited Talks and Commentary

“Religious vs. Secular Approached to Morality in the Age of Trump,” Jefferson Center, Ashland, Oregon, March 13, 2017

“What is Secular Studies?” University of Köln, January 10, 2017

The Great Debate: Marshall vs. Zuckerman (Christianity vs. Secular Humanism)“, Oct. 23, 2013

“Secular Life in America,” Georgetown University, Washington D.C, Feb. 21,  2013

“The Rise of Irreligion in Europe and the USA: Causes and Consequences,” St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Palm Desert, CA, Jan. 25, 2013

“What is Secular Studies?” Santa Barbara Humanists Association, Oct. 20, 2012

Professor Zuckerman’s contributions to “The Blog” the Huffington Post include “Taxes, Unions, and Healthcare—Oh, My!” (November 13, 2012) and “One Nation under God—Not!” (September 6, 2012).

“Obama’s Battle for Ohio’s Atheist Vote,” Op-Ed, Bloomberg View, Oct. 17, 2012

“Goodness and Godlessness” University Synagogue, Irvine, CA, May 25, 2012

“Secular Studies” Orange Country Freethought Alliance Annual Meeting, UC Irvine, May 20, 2012.

“Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion,” West Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers, Grand Junction, Colorado, March 25, 2012.

“Faith No More: Contemporary Apostasy in America” Center for Inquiry, Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2012

“Are We Naturally Religious? A Response to Christian Smith,” Religion, Human Personhood, Culture, and Society Seminar, Georgetown University, Feb. 10, 2012

“What We Know About Atheists and Secular People: A Social Science Perspective,” Åbo Academie, Turku, Finland, Jan. 19, 2012

Studying Religion and Society, (co-editor, with Titus Hjlem), Routledge, 2012.

“Contrasting Irreligious Orientations: Atheism and Secularity in the USA and Scandinavia,” Approaching Religion, v.2, n.1, June, 2012.

“Deviant Heroes: Nonconformists as Agents of Justice and Social Change.” (with Brian Wolf), Deviant Behavior 33:639-654, 2012)

Professor Zuckerman authored several op-ed pieces, including “Why Do Americans Still Dislike Atheists?” in the Washington Post, April 30, 2011; “Majoring in Secular Studies” in The Guardian, May 13, 2011; and “Why Evangelicals hate Jesus” in the Huffington Post, March 3, 2011.

“The Rise of Irreligion: Causes and Consequences,” Unitarian Universalist Community Church, Santa Monica, CA, Nov. 27, 2011

“Aweism,” Adat Chaverim, Brentwood, CA, Oct. 8, 2011

“Contemporary Apostasy,” invited lecture, Reed College, Portland, OR, April 22, 2011.

“Religion and Irreligion in Contemporary Scandinavia,” invited lecture, Bethania Lutheran Church, Solvang, CA, March 26, 2011.

“Religion and Irreligion in Denmark,” invited lecture, Folkeuniversitet, Copenhagen, Denmark, March 13, 2011.

“Society Without God,” invited lecture, Jefferson Center, Ashland, OR, February, 17, 2011.

“Contemporary Apostasy,” invited lecture, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, November 26, 2010.

“Religion and Irreligion in Denmark,” invited lecture, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark, September 27, 2010.

“Secularity and Society,” presented at the Orange County Free-thought Alliance Conference, Costa Mesa, CA, May 8, 2010.

“Society Without God,” presented at the Humanist Association of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, CA, April 11, 2010, and at Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, April 17, 2010.

Selected Grants, Awards, and Honors

“Islam, Immigration, and Irreligion,” Travel/Research Grant, European Union Center of California, 2010.

Additional Information

Curriculum Vitae

Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns
from the Cambridge Companion to Atheism edited by Michael Martin, University of Cambridge Press, 2007

Atheism, Secularity, and Well-Being: How the Findings of Social Science Counter Negative Stereotypes and Assumptions
Sociology Compass 3/6 (2009): 949–971

Phil’s Picks – Greatest Albums

Page last updated on December 4, 2023