At the Faculty of Theology at Uppsala University “for a period of two years, beginning as soon as possible and April 1, 2014 at the latest. Application is due on January 15, 2014.” New atheists figure largely among Darwin’s followers; maybe someone who reads Uncommon Descent might be interested and qualify.
The Faculty of Theology at Uppsala University seeks a postdoc to study new atheism for two years.
The Faculty is looking for a project with a critical scientific focus on New Atheism/contemporary atheistic positions or groups. What characterizes the phenomenon in question? What historical roots does it have? How does it relate to earlier forms of atheism and critique of religion? What understanding of religion and which ideological assumptions does it presuppose? Towards which forms of religions and ideologies is the atheistic criticism directed? What are the arguments for atheism and against religion, and what weight should be awarded to these arguments? How does the phenomenon relate to the contemporary criticism of secularization theses and secularism? What normative grounds and political ambitions does it have? What role does the phenomenon play in today’s society and politics?
Uppsala U may appear to be a good choice because Denmark and Sweden feature a high atheist population, according to a recent article in Salon:
These two countries, in which only 17% and 18%, respectively, of the population consider religion important, have become icons of secularist values to the rest of the world. Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., spent a little more than a year talking to citizens to find out why. He discovered that your average Danish or Swedish citizen simply doesn’t think much about religion; in these two cultures, religion has largely been relegated to a ceremonial role. For the typical atheist who likes to have a Christmas tree without the burden of having to believe in the Virgin Birth, the Danish and Swedish attitude towards religion should fit like a cozy sweater.
However, North American new atheists may prove a learning experience for them.