To Become or Remain an Atheist – The Formation of Non-Religious Identities Among Members of Organizations of the Non-Religious and Atheists in Croatia

Nikolina Hazdovac Bajić

Abstract


The phenomena of non-religiosity and atheism have been
provoking the attention of sociologists of religion especially
since the beginning of the 21st century. However, in Croatia
they have not often been topics of scientific research in
recent times. The aim of this paper is to acquire the first
scientific insight into the process of forming of non-religious
and atheistic identities. Starting from this objective, the paper
will try to respond to the specific research question of how
non-religious and atheistic identities are formed among
members of organizations that gather the non-religious and
atheists in Croatia. The paper is based on data collected by
semi-structured interviews with 22 persons. The results
obtained indicate that the formation of non-religious and
atheistic identities among interviewees took place in several
(intellectual) stages initiated by critical thinking that had its
foundations in natural sciences. With regard to the
(non)existence of a collective identity, two types can be
differentiated among members of the organizations: the
engaged and distanced non-religious and atheists.

Keywords


non-religiosity; atheism; non-religious and atheistic organizations; identity

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