One of America’s more notably known liberal arts schools, as they call them over there, has decided to add a major on secularism to their curriculum thereby making them that little bit more liberal than some of their competitors. This will be the first of its kind in America.
Secularism, as defined by the dictionary, dictates that religious bodies and religion on a whole should have no part in political or civic affairs. It also says that religion shouldn’t have anything to do with the running of public institutions, particularly schools.
The school itself is based about 50km East of Los Angeles, California, and includes David Bloom amongst its alumni.
The department was proposed by Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist of religion, who has chosen to depict himself as “culturally Jewish, but agnostic-atheist on questions of deep mystery.”
The new secularist department will teach courses like “God, Darwin and Design in America,” “Anxiety in the Age of Reason” and “Bible as Literature.”
With recent research and insights pointing toward the fact that more and more people are finding themselves unable to identify with having a religion, or simply choosing not to care, the college has bucked the trend on traditional theological and religious studies to become the first in America to offer such a topic.
Zuckerman offered the following explanation detailing the new offering:
It’s not about arguing is there a God or not? There are hundreds of millions of people who are nonreligious.
I want to know who they are, what they believe, why they are nonreligious. You have some countries where huge percentages of people — Czechs, Scandinavians — now call themselves atheists. Canada is experiencing a huge wave of secularization.
This is happening very rapidly. It has not been studied.
Statistics claim that around 15 percent of American adults claim they have no religion so one can see Zuckerman’s point in establishing the department.
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