Episode 8: Science and Non-Religion with Dr Lois Lee

Dr Lois Lee is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Kent, and is the Principal Investigator on the Understanding Unbelief programme. You can read her Researcher Profile here.

In this episode, we talk with Lois about the relationship between science and non-religion and the perceived affinity between the two. Through her ground-breaking research on non-religion and unbelief, Lois discusses the role that science plays in lives of the non-religious and how this role varies across different non-religious groups. Drawing on empirical research and disaggregating what it means to be non-religious, Lois reveals the myriad ways science is and is not intertwined within the cultural and social identities of the non-religious and how this interrelation can be related to different existential outlooks.

(This episode was recorded in November 2020)

This podcast is 58 minutes and 13 seconds long.

The keywords associated with this podcast are:

  • Non-religion
  • Unbelief
  • Existential Cultures
  • Empirical research
  • Relational approaches

To learn more about this discussion, we recommend that you read:

This chapter: Lee, L. (2019). Feeling Rational: Affinity and Affinity Narratives in British Science–Non-religion Relations. In: Jones, S., Kaden, T. and Catto, R. eds. Science, Belief and Society: International Perspectives on Religion, Non-Religion and the Public Understanding of Science.

This report: Bullivant, S., Farias, M., Lanman, J. and Lee, L. (2019). Understanding Unbelief: Atheists and Agnostics Around the World. St Mary’s University Twickenham. Available at: https://cdn-researchkent.pressidium.com/understandingunbelief/wp-content/uploads/sites/1816/2019/05/UUReportRome.pdf

This article: Lee, L. (2014) “Secular or Nonreligious? Investigating and Interpreting Generic ‘Not Religious’ Categories and Populations”, Religion.

This book: Lee, L. (2015). Recognizing the Non-Religious: Reimagining the Secular. Oxford University Press.