Understanding Sunday Assembly rituals through a post-Christian lens

Bullock, Josh (2017) Understanding Sunday Assembly rituals through a post-Christian lens. In: SSSR/RRA 2017 Annual Meeting; 12 - 14 Oct 2017, Washington, DC, U.S.. (Unpublished)


My research follows the Sunday Assembly (SA), a secular (Godless) congregation that celebrates life, with the motto: ‘Live Better, Help Often and Wonder More.’ The SA entered the non-religious market place in January 2013 with their flagship London congregation. Now, over 70- franchised chapters exist in eight countries, attempting to provide belonging and community to the religiously unaffiliated market. I draw upon a 15-month ethnographic study of the London SA and 35 semi-structured interviews to better understand lived non-religion. Findings are presented in two ways. Firstly, I offer the argument that the Sunday Assembly is a notable display of an element of post-Christian transitioning, and that a ‘new-new atheism’ has transpired. Secondly, with evidence of non-religion on the rise (UK, US), I reach beyond the sociology of religion and move beyond description to unfold the impact of post-Christian rituals borrowed by the SA to foster notions of belonging and community.

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