Picture by (C) Ted Hodgkinson

Upcoming events

15 May 2019

Reaching for a new sense of connection? The diversity of nonreligion in Europe

In this public lecture at Kingston University London, Professor David Herbert and Dr Josh Bullock reflect on their Understanding Unbelief project which has examined the nature and diversity of unbelief, practice and social connections among nonreligious Millennials in six European countries.

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20 May 2019

Belief and unbelief: Supporting communities in times of national tragedy

As the country’s religious composition continues to shift what shape should support take when religious rituals are not relevant to more than 50% of the population? In addition, what do these changes mean for policy makers, media and communities when providing support in times of crisis?

A collaboration between NatCen and the Understanding Unbelief programme this half-day symposium will explore the UKs changing religious composition and deliberate moral leadership in times of crisis.

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28-30 May 2019

Cultures of Unbelief

As the global population of religious ‘unbelievers’ continues to grow, the Cultures of Unbelief conference brings together leading academics, leaders of religious and nonreligious groups, journalists, educators and many others to understand what it really means to be a religious ‘unbeliever’. Cultures of Unbelief will explore how ‘unbelievers’ engage with religion, their diverse existential, metaphysical and moral beliefs, and prospects for dialogue and collaboration between believers and unbelievers.

Cultures of Unbelief also marks three significant anniversaries in the academic study of ‘unbelief’: the 50th anniversary of the Vatican’s pioneering ‘Culture of Unbelief’ conference in 1969; the 10th anniversary of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network’s (NSRN) 1st conference (Oxford University, 2009); and, the work of the landmark $3m research programme, Understanding Unbelief, funded by the John Templeton Foundation (University of Kent, 2017-20).

Draft programme


17 June 2019

Religious Unbelief in Life Story Interviews

Oral historian Dr Paul Merchant will talk about his Understanding Unbelief project at the British Library, exploring the nature and diversity of unbelief and tips and tools for finding very particular material in large collections of audio archives.

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To receive updates on the conference and information about other programme activities join our mailing list by emailing info@understanding-unbelief.net.