The Six Types of Atheists

Christians have their different theologies.  Conservatism comprises a number of different ideologies.  Now studies are showing that there are different kinds of atheists.  Sociologist George Yancey discusses recent research that classifies atheists into six different types.

From George Yancey,  What the ‘Six Types of Atheists’ Mean for Christian Outreach | Christianity Today:

1. The Intellectual Atheist/Agnostic: Sees his/herself as intellectually too advanced for religion and seeks to engage with other likeminded individuals through writings, YouTube videos and talks.

2. The Activist: Proactively works for issues connected to naturalist or humanist causes.

3. The Seeker-Agnostic: Considers the metaphysical a possibility but is comfortable with uncertainty as it concerns the interaction of science and the metaphysical.

4. The Anti-Theist: Believes religion to be evil, thus actively works against religion and religious influences.

5. The Non-Theist: Does not have much interest in religious concepts.

6. The Ritual Atheist/Agnostic: Does not have otherworldly beliefs but regularly attends a religious ceremony, finding that this meets some social or psychological need.

Dr. Yancey goes on to make some classifications of his own and gives suggestions for reaching out to these different folks.  Read his article here.

For the original research into the types of non-belief, go here.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


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