Pitzer Professor Phil Zuckerman’s New Book Surveys the Science of Secularity

The Nonreligious: Understanding Secular People and SocietiesClaremont, Calif. (February 11, 2016)—Pitzer College Professor of Sociology and Secular Studies Phil Zuckerman’s eleventh book, The Nonreligious: Understanding Secular People and Societies, is the first comprehensive compilation of research on the nonreligious. Co-written with Luke W. Galen and Frank L. Pasquale, The Nonreligious will be published by Oxford University Press on March 1.

With studies showing the number of people who identify as nonreligious hitting historic highs, The Nonreligious fills a void in existing scholarship by providing an empirically grounded, analytical discussion of social scientific research on this fast-growing global population. The book deepens readers’ understanding of contemporary secularity, illuminates the debate surrounding the “New Atheism” and tracks the dramatic growth of religious “nones” in America and around the world. Written by three leaders in the relatively new field of secular studies, The Nonreligious provides undergraduates and graduate students, as well as general-interest readers, with a data-driven overview of secularity.

Barry Kosmin, a research professor of public policy and law at Trinity College, describes The Nonreligious as “the go-to, social scientific textbook for the burgeoning field of secular studies.”

“It provides excellent comprehensive coverage of all the latest research and academic debates in the sociology, psychology and anthropology of the secular,” he writes.

Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, a professor of psychology at the University of Haifa, says the authors have assembled “not only a fascinating collection of findings, but also first-rate discussions of theoretical issues.”

“Their writing is lucid and jargon-free, and their perspective is global,” Beit-Hallahmi writes in a review. “The book is just as relevant to those who live in India, Europe or Australia as it is to Americans.”

Professor Phil Zuckerman pioneered Pitzer’s secular studies program—the first of its kind in the country. He has authored or edited 11 books, and his work has been translated into six languages. His book Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions (Penguin Press, 2014) was named one of the best books of 2014 by Publishers Weekly. He teaches courses on the sociology of religion and the foundations of secularism at Pitzer College.

About Pitzer College

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