Atheism and Agnosticism
Exploring the Issues
by Peter A. Huff
September 2021, 247pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7082-8
$44, £34, 39€, A61
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7083-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Estimates place the global atheist population at 500–700 million people, with perhaps another 500 million identifying as nonreligious in one way or another.

An overview essay and approximately 50 alphabetically arranged reference entries explore the background and significance of atheism and agnosticism in modern society.

This is the age of atheism and agnosticism. The number of people living without religious belief and practice is quickly and dramatically rising. Some experts call nonreligion, after Christianity and Islam, the third largest “religion” in the world today. Understanding the origins, history, variations, and impact of atheism and agnosticism is crucial to getting a grasp of the meaning of the present and gaining a glimpse of the future.

Exploring some of the most extraordinary people, events, and ideas of all time, this book provides a fair, comprehensive, and engaging survey of all aspects of contemporary atheism and agnosticism. An overview essay discusses the background and social and political contexts of unbelief, while a timeline highlights key events. Some 50 alphabetically arranged reference entries follow, with each providing fundamental, objective information about particular topics along with cross-references and suggestions for further reading. The volume closes with an annotated bibliography of the most important resources on atheism and agnosticism.


  • An overview essay surveys the background and significance of atheism and agnosticism in today’s world
  • A timeline highlights key events in the history of atheism and agnosticism
  • Some 50 alphabetically arranged reference entries provide essential information about important topics related to atheism and agnosticism
  • An annotated bibliography cites and assesses the most important broad resources on atheism and agnosticism
Peter A. Huff, PhD, is director of the Center for Mission and Identity and professor in the department of history, philosophy, religious studies, and global studies at Benedictine University. Active in intercultural dialogue, he is author of four books and coeditor of Knowledge and Belief in America and Tradition and Pluralism.


LJ Best Reference of 2021—Library Journal, March 1, 2022


"A good summation of the relatively nascent study of atheism and agnosticism and serves as a good reference for an introductory inquiry in the field of both."—Booklist, December 15, 2021

"Few are agnostic about atheism and agnosticism; this eloquent, wide-ranging volume should appeal to many, as well as supporting recent academic interest in its subject."—Library Journal, December 1, 2021

"Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates, general readers."—Choice, July 1, 2022

Religion in Politics and Society Today

Religion has long played an influential role in shaping our world. Each book in this series examines how religion informs a particularly critical social or political concern, such as antisemitism, education, environmental issues, Islam in America, and war. Through an overview essay, chronology, and roughly 50 alphabetically arranged reference entries, the volumes provide concise, objective coverage of the essential elements of the topic discussed. An annotated bibliography closes each book and directs the reader to some of the most important sources of additional information.
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