The Church on the Margins: The Religious Context of the New Atheism

  • William A. StahlEmail author
Part of the Boundaries of Religious Freedom: Regulating Religion in Diverse Societies book series (BOREFRRERE, volume 2)


Stahl’s contribution points to a decline in membership in previously hegemonic Canadian churches (Catholic in Quebec, Anglican, United), which has placed them on the margins of society, as symptomatic of the end of Christendom. He highlights three narratives which have been used to address the decline in church membership: the secularization thesis; a narrative of renewal (religions fluctuate between decline and renewal); and Charles Taylor’s work on the changes in the nature of social solidarity in the contemporary world. Stahl argues that an extension of Taylor’s work helps us to understand both the decline of mainstream churches as institutions which have failed to adapt to these changes and the rise of fundamentalism and the New Atheism as protest movements against them.


Political Identity Moral Order Christian Faith Social Solidarity Early Modern Period 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor Emeritus of SociologyLuther CollegeReginaCanada

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