Public Atheism: An American History


ACLS Fellowship Program


John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics


The object of this research is to offer the first full history of atheists and nonbelievers in American public life. Central topics include: the legal and political standing of nonbelievers (their competence in court and ability to hold public office); the atheist, humanist, and secular specters in American schools and universities; the moral and political threats ostensibly posed by the irreligious (e.g., blasphemy,obscenity, and subversion); and the insistent visibility of freethinking provocateurs (whether as lecturers, cartoonists, publishers, magicians, or civil-liberties activists).