Findings & Footnotes

■  As with sociologists of religion before them, anthropologists specializing in religion are branching out to study atheism and other forms of non-religion, according to the annual journal Religion & Society. The 2023 issue is devoted to anthropological studies of non-religion, although these focus less on the familiar sites of secularism, such as atheist and secular humanist societies, and more on the discreet and unexpected places for non-religion in largely religious cultures. Anthropology has addressed non-belief largely through theories about secularization and the notions of the secular but until recently has not examined the rituals and practices of “lived non-religion” in the way that anthropologists have long studied religions. The articles cover a wide range of groups and movements often co-existing yet being in conflict with religion, as in a study examining an increasing numbers of Turks leaving Islam, and another looking at more ambivalent forms of non-religion among South Asians in India and Bangladesh, who may not express their atheism. All these articles suggest that non-belief and losing religion are not necessarily tied to modernization—a key tenet of the secularization thesis. For something different, an article on the Satanic Temple movement in the U.S. looks at how non-religion can challenge political religion, even if its attacks on religion unwittingly operate from a Protestant and anti-Catholic framework. For more information on this issue, visit: