This volume, in the series Vitality of Indigenous Religions, edited by Graham Harvey, Afeosemime Adogame & Ines Talamantez, offers a significant contribution to the new and strongly emerging field of non-religion and secularity studies. That field that has mainly been developed in the last decade for secularising Europe and North America, but hardly yet for the rest of the world. Religion and Non-Religion among Australian Aboriginal Peoples is, therefore, a pioneering study. It draws on Australian 2011 Census statistics to ask whether the indigenous Australian population, like the wider Australian society, is becoming increasingly secularised or whether there are other explanations for the surprisingly high percentage of Aboriginal people in Australia who state that they have ‘no religion’. Contributors from a range of disciplines consider three central questions: How do Aboriginal Australians understand or interpret what Westerners have called ‘religion’? Do Aboriginal Australians distinguish being ‘religious’ from being ‘non-religious’? How have modernity and Christianity affected Indigenous understandings of ‘religion’? These questions re-focus Western-dominated concerns with the decline or revival of religion, by incorporating how Indigenous Australians have responded to modernity, how modernity has affected Indigenous peoples’ religious behaviours and perceptions, and how variations of response can be found in rural and urban contexts.
The study of non-religion and secularity is as yet a virgin field in the study of the religions of Africa and its Diaspora. This volume on the rise of non-religion and secularity among indigenous peoples of Australia will likely serve as an eye-opener for students of the religions of Africa and its Diaspora
The Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism [GlobeTheoLib] is a multilingual online library offering access free of charge to more than 650’000 full-text articles, journals, books and other resources. Its focus is on theology, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, ethics, and ecumenism in World Christianity.
Berghahn Journals offers a free virtual issue which features portraits of four senior scholars of religion from our journal, Religion and Society – Advances in Research, from volume 1 (2010) to volume 4 (201 3). The scholars include: Maurice Bloch, José Casanova, Jean Comaroff and Bruce Kapferer. Each profile consists of invited essays on the scholar’s work by authorities in their respective subfields.
To access the virtual issue, visit: http://bit.ly/1iErGoP
Most interest in nonreligion and secularity is focused on the West and its dominant cultures; it is argued, in fact, that such concepts have limited meaning in any other settings. Launching the Non-religion among Australian Aboriginal Peoples series</strong>, James Cox challenges this view, arguing that much can be learned by taking nonreligion as the starting point in research with other populations — Australian Aboriginals, in the case of his own work.
Nonreligion & Secularity Blog for those AASR members who wish to follow the rapid developments in the academic study of Nonreligion & Secularity about the rapid increase of the numbers of ‘nones’ (who have parted with religion in their private lives), agnostics and atheists of various kinds in (so far mainly) North-West Europe and North America.