Jump to accessibility statement Jump to content

Understanding Unbelief

Research projects

In June 2017 the Understanding Unbelief programme awarded funding to 11 project teams. Their diverse projects will explore unbelief from a number of different disciplinary perspectives, including psychology, sociology, anthropology and religious studies. They will investigate unbelief in over 30 countries, working across a wide array of religious and cultural contexts. Participants in the studies will include under-researched populations such as children and young people; people at end of life; BME ‘unbelievers’; and non-Western ‘unbelievers’.

Follow the links below to learn more about the projects.


Origin and Maintenance of Unbelief in a Believing World
PIs: Professor Jamin Halberstadt, Psychology and Associate Professor Jesse Bering, Psychology, University of Otago, New Zealand

Reaching for a New Sense of Connection? Towards a Deeper Understanding of the Sociality of Generation Y Non-believers in Northern and Central Europe
PI: Professor David Herbert, Sociology, University of Kingston, London, UK

Mapping the Psychology of Unbelief Across Contexts and Cultures
PI: Dr Jonathan Jong, Psychology, Coventry University, UK

Magical Thinking in Contexts and Situations of Unbelief
PIs: Dr Theodoros Kyriakides, Anthropology and Dr Richard Irvine, Anthropology, Open University, UK

Uncovering the Hidden Nature of Unbelief
PI: Dr Marjaana Lindeman, Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland

Meaning Making Narratives Among Non-Religious Individuals Facing the End of Life
PI: Dr Christel Manning, Religious Studies, Sacred Heart University, USA

Mindfulness Meditation: A Secular Religion for Unbelievers?
PI: Dr Masoumeh Rahmani, Religious Studies, Coventry University, UK

Understanding Unbelief in Secular Social Action: Doing Whose Work?
PI: Dr Timothy Stacey, Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada

The Amoral Atheist? A Cross-cultural Examination of Cognitive, Motivational, and Cultural Contributions to Unbelief and Moral Considerations
PI: Dr Tomas Ståhl, Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

Nonreligious Childhood: Growing Up Unbelieving in Contemporary Britain
PI: Dr Anna Strhan, Religious Studies, University of Kent, UK

Understanding Unbelief in Egypt
PI: Dr Karin van Nieuwkerk, Anthropology, Radboud University, The Netherlands

back to top