Picture by (C) Ted Hodgkinson

Belief, Lost and Found: The Unbelief Café

25 November 2017, 13:00-15:30

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury CT1 2RA

The place of religion in British people’s lives is changing – and changing fast. Around half of the population say they have no religion, whilst many others are now exploring religious, spiritual and existential questions outside of traditional religious settings. If religious belief is not disappearing per se, it is certainly transforming – and to understand it we need to consider not only what beliefs are being lost, but also what new beliefs people are finding through these dramatic processes of change. We welcome you to the Unbelief Café for an afternoon of talks and activities exploring what it means to be an unorthodox believer or ‘unbeliever’ in the modern world. Participants have the chance to share and discuss their own beliefs, and to learn more about belief and unbelief from leading experts in the field.

This event is free and open to all but booking is required. Find out more here…

The Unbelief Café is being held as part of the 2017 Being Human Festival.  This year’s festival is taking place nationally 17-25 November. Being Human is led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.


The NSRN Public Lecture: Ancestor Worship Amongst Today’s Unbelievers

25 November 2017, 15:45-17:00

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury CT1 2RA

Non-religious people often experience, and revere, the presence of their deceased relatives. Unfortunately, such experiences usually fall into an academic category called ‘religious experience’, demonstrating how badly misunderstood are today’s unbelievers. In this year’s NSRN public lecture Professor Abby Day from Goldsmiths, University of London will discuss current research with UK unbelieving ancestor-worshippers and offer cross-cultural comparisons to ask – how can we learn from their experiences to inform us about unbelief, nonreligion and the richness of human experience?

This event is free and open to all. Find out more here…


A Nation of Unbelievers?

5 December 2017, 6:30-8:00 NatCen Head Office, London.

Dr Lois Lee will discuss whether the nonreligious really are the UK’s ‘religious’ majority – and what this means for society. In September, findings about the nonreligious from NatCen’s British Social Attitudes Survey hit the headlines. The data showed that people not affiliating with a religion are now a majority in the UK, and a very large outright majority in the younger age cohorts. In this talk, Dr Lois Lee – a sociologist specialising in the study of nonreligion and atheism – considers what these figures tell us about the British religious landscape.

This event is by invitation only. Find out more here…


Other upcoming events

The Understanding Unbelief programme will host two major events. In the summer 2018, it will convene a workshop for research teams funded by one of the programme’s three grant competition streams. In the summer 2019, it will hold its closing capstone conference, open to all researchers and members of the public. The capstone conference will showcase Understanding Unbelief research and public engagement activities.

Further details of these events will be announced nearer the time. You can keep up to date with programme activities by joining our mailing list. To join, email info@understanding-unbelief.net.