Resources For Those Who Want To Know About Atheist History

Resources For Those Who Want To Know About Atheist History May 27, 2017

When people think about the history of atheism they often think of it as something young. This is probably a bit frustrating to historians of atheism and as an atheist who is also a historian it’s definitely frustrating to me. So I decided to create a short post revolving around atheist history. This is a post for people who want to learn about the history of atheism and want to acknowledge and learn about historians whose work revolves around demystifying atheism and improving public understanding of historical atheism.

When I typed in "history" into Pixabay I got this image. So for a post about atheist history, have a photo of a book of maps with glasses on top of it. Fitting enough I suppose.
When I typed in “history” into Pixabay I got this image. So for a post about atheist history, have a photo of a book of maps with glasses on top of it. Fitting enough I suppose.

Check Out This Group Dedicated To Supporting Scholars Of Atheist History:

The ISHASH (International Society for Historians Of Atheism, Secularism, and Humanism) is a digital group that exists to connect academics who are studying and writing about historical aspects of atheism, secularism, and humanism. It’s a network that hopes to connect and strengthen historians who devote time and energy to studying these various facets of irreligion and oftentimes the history of atheism.

Atheism has a long history and it’s not often talked about in social circles of atheists and among atheistic groups and organizations. That’s fine and understandable given that these circles and organizations are often dedicated to improving conditions for atheists across the United States and the world at large and thus have pressing priorities beyond merely conversing about atheism, but as a historian who is an atheist it’s a bit frustrating to not see more critical and educational conversations and opportunities to chat about atheist history and the history of other forms of irreligion.

I really enjoy learning about the members of the ISHASH because it’s fantastic to read the works of individuals who sincerely care about our history and oftentimes who want this history to be more understood than it presently is. Check out their work and read about the work done by individual members! If you’re unfamiliar with atheist history and the histories of secularism ,and humanism it’s possible you’ll learn something just by clicking through the pages each ISHASH member has linked to their name, and frankly there’s nothing wrong with that. I actually learned a bit myself when I scrolled through the member list, most particularly about Joseph McCabe. So check out their site and see if there is anyone doing work on anything you’re interested in! If you do and you learn something, come back here and comment what you learned down below.

A Few Thoughts Before I Wrap Up This Post:

One of the national atheist groups should announce an atheist history month. Maybe it should be May since May is when the National Day Of Reason is celebrated by the American Humanist Association and plenty of nonbelievers nationwide. But someone should actually make this a thing and use it to encourage nonbelievers independent of our labels and titles to research our history (and yes I know the titles serve a purpose, I like the titles myself I just know that ultimately we share something in common which separates us from many other people: we lack a belief in their religions).

Atheist history month should absolutely become a thing and during it national and local atheist and irreligious groups should hold events where they give historians and scholars of irreligion, atheism, secularism, and humanism, a chance to gain more publicity and educate the public when it comes to our history. Maybe in another post I’ll expand on this and create a hypothetical event where a historian of irreligion and skepticism is given the chance to publicly talk about their work in an environment of people who want to learn about their work. That being said: if you’ve got an opinion on this or anything else I talked about in this post, comment down below and we can chat about it!

If anyone really likes this and wants me to seriously try and make it a thing should let me know. I’m going to try anyway but if more people know of it and like it and suggest to atheist groups, we can more easily actually make it happen!

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