In what can only be described as another win for Atheism, a new academic journal will exclusively explore themes of secularism and nonreligion. The first published work of its kind, the journal, aptly entitled, Secularism and Nonreligion, will officially launch in January 2012.
The project is a combined effort undertaken by Trinity College in Connecticut and the Non-religion and Secularity Research Network. Ironically, Trinity's name, reminiscent of the Christian theological construct of a Father, Son and Holy Spirit, has little to do these days with faith. In fact, like many other colleges across the nation, Trinity was founded by a faith figure, but is now considered religiously independent.
According to CNN, "Trinity College’s Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture is an important player in the burgeoning field of secular studies." Below, find the college's mission statement:
Trinity College is a community united in a quest for excellence in liberal arts education. Our purpose is to foster critical thinking, free the mind of parochialism and prejudice, and prepare students to lead examined lives that are personally satisfying, civically responsible, and socially useful.
The Non-religion and Secularity Research Network, on the other hand, is self-defined as follows:
...an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers founded in 2008. The NSRN aims to centralise existing research on the topic of non-religion and secularity and to facilitate discussion in the following terms.
In announcing the new publication via press release, Trinity says that "submissions should explore all aspects of what it means to be secular." This essentially means that the journal will provide a lens into the lives of the nonreligious, while highlighting interactions between secularism and other aspects of the world:
The scope of the international academic journal, to be called Secularism and Nonreligion, will be interdisciplinary. Its aim is to advance research regarding all of the various aspects of “the secular” across societies and cultures...Articles will explore the ideology and philosophy of the secular, secularism, nonreligion and atheism.
Every submission will be peer-reviewed and available for free download at the journal’s website. While some more religious people will certainly scoff at the notion, the periodical may shed some light on the world of a small, yet growing religious minority.