Table of Contents

Organized secularism beyond the humanist 21st century.
The new atheism and the revival of secularism.
Atheism unbound moving to the center, speaking from the margins.
Rituals and commemorations, secularist solidarity and legitimization. This book examines the growth and development of organized atheism and humanism in the United States from a sociological perspective. This book is based on interviews with atheist leaders and participants as well as observations and analysis of secular gatherings and media. This book finds that the new atheist outspokenness-as seen in the best-selling "new atheist" books-is a response to the resurgence of religious involvement in politics during the past thirty years. Feeling themselves excluded from public life, secularists (the authors' term for atheists and humanists) have revised their strategies to wage both a defensive and offensive battle against their ideological and political antagonists. The book also examines how atheists are forming a collective identity and building a community through the use of rituals as well as engaging in activism. Throughout, the book discusses the role of the media in providing connection to one another and creating a virtual community.